|> Other English exercises on the same topics: Speaking | Tales | Modals [Change theme]|
|> Similar tests: - On the phone - Interacting with someone - Dialogue : What time...? - Eating out-Vocabulary - Differences between Like and As - Conditional clauses - One/ They/ People.... - Dialogue: Buying shoes|
|> Double-click on words you don't understand|
Ambiguous modal auxiliary: must
Ambiguous modal auxiliaries ...
1) MUST/ MUSTN'T: OBLIGATION or INTERDICTION: In both cases, the FREEDOM OF ACTION is denied.
- I must go now, as I still have a lot of homework to do. You mustn't prevent me from leaving...
2) But we may express a different meaning with the same modal: MUST / MUSTN'T = NEAR-CERTAINTY= I'm almost sure that...
- He must be sick because he never misses a class and hasn't arrived yet.
3) Now, WHAT if the sentence is in the PAST?
- Connie was obliged to open the door! (the modal here expresses an obligation in the past)
In the past, when MUST expresses a PAST OBLIGATION, you must use HAD TO:
In that case, the sentence would be: => - Connie had to open the door because the dog was barking to come in!
OR: This sentence may mean: Most certainly, Connie opened the door => NEAR-CERTAINTY in the PAST:
- In this case, the near-certainty in the past will be expressed with: MUST + HAVE + PAST PARTICIPLE
=> - Connie must have opened the door, because she was the only one to have the key. (no obligation, here.)
Only the context will enable you to make a good choice of the modal auxiliary.
Here we are ! I hope you'll never mistake those two different nuances of the same modal! I hope you'll do well!
English exercise "Ambiguous modal auxiliary: must" created by here4u with The test builder
Click here to see the current stats of this English test
Please log in to save your progress.
End of the free exercise to learn English: Ambiguous modal auxiliary: must
A free English exercise to learn English.
Other English exercises on the same topics : Speaking | Tales | Modals | All our lessons and exercises