Modals for Hedging Claims

The passive voice combined with modal verbs (will / would; can / could; should / must;  may / might) is often used to qualify statements, usually to show that a result is highly applicable, though not always true. This practice is called “hedging claims”. Additionally, modal expressions, such as in general, most likely, probably, presumably also serve this purpose. According to Biber et al* (1999), other verbs commonly co-occurring with modals (>60%) are: admit, afford, appeal, assure, cope (with), guarantee, handle, imagine, resist, settle for, suffice, survive, tolerate.

Sample sentences:

Presumably, our questionnaire will have to be vetted by experts in the field.
The two processes could well be independent.
Such an approach should guarantee a high degree of validity.
The only problem may be that the results are difficult to interpret according to our criteria.
Of course, our findings will most likely contradict this theory.
However, using the hamburger index to interpret purchasing power can be misleading.
This approach might afford us more insight into this issue.
Only top-down policy can establish these guidelines in most corporations.
A qualitative approach may also be applicable here.
Our error margin should tolerate such fuzziness quite well.
If we have insufficient data, we will settle for the original datasets provided by the administration.

*Biber D., Johansson S., Leech G., Conrad S., Finegan E. (1999). Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Pearson Education Ltd., pp 485-492.