In a magazine I read today, the article was written in present tense, about his/her experience overseas, in India.

I am confused about the use of the modals here. Can someone please explain to me their use?

I can walk to a market to find the electronics I'm looking for. The man I spoke to was right. And among the shops, I should be able to find a laptop.

1) If it is present tense, why would you bother saying you can or can't do something. Why wouldn't you just say you did or didn't do it, thereby showing if you can or can't: "I walk to a market."

2) What is the difference in meaning between "I should be able to find"& "I will be able find"?

Thanks
Senior Member2,850
1-- As it stands, your passage is a mishmash of tenses. I hope more text will clear it up.
2-- 'Should' is likelihood; 'will' is certainty.
Veteran Member88,719
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
So 'should' here is present tense and present time, and finding the laptop is something that is most likely about to happen?
Yes. that is exactly how I understand it... with the caveat that you said this was 'narrative present'.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Is it common to have a present tense modal verb that states something you are about to do, rather than something you are doing at the time it was written?

For example, in sentence a, the tense explains actions that are currently happening in the present:

a) I walk home, and see my mother making dinner. I speak to her.

But in sentence b, the tense explains actions that are about to happen (I assume it is still called present tense, however):

b) I walk home, and should find the patient.
As I said, your particular excerpt is not clear without considerably more text, but yes, your sentence b seems possible to me.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Mister Micawberyour sentence b seems possible to me.


Thanks.[Y]

Is should find in this sentence a past form modal tense referring to the present or future?

I walk home, and should find the patient.
I don't think it is useful to think of 'should' as a past form-- should/could/would have so many other uses. Here, for instance, 'should' certainly isn't the past of 'shall'-- it means 'ought to'.
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Live chat
Registered users can join here