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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #117587: Should or Must
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Modals [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Although / in spite of / despite - Differences between Like and As - Again/ back - FOR and its use - Do or Make? - Bill, tip, fare, fine, fee
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Should or Must

    A modal is an auxiliary (helping) verb that expresses ability, possibility, permission or necessity.


    English modals include must, shall, will, should, can, could, would, may and might. In this lesson, we shall be discussing SHOULD and MUST.

    SHOULD and MUST express necessity. But the use of these modals in a sentence can change the meaning of the entire sentence. Study this:

    (1) Does your arm still hurt? You should see a doctor.

    (2) Does your arm still hurt? You must see a doctor.

    Can you tell the difference between both sentences?

    Let's see. SHOULD or MUST:

    -> Use SHOULD to say what is the right thing to do; to give advice, recommendation or suggestion.

    More examples:

    - Does your tooth still hurt? You SHOULD make an appointment with the dentist.

    - I think you SHOULD study for the test so that you don't fail.

    - Your hair is too long. You SHOULD get a haircut.

    - You really SHOULD go to the new restaurant on Wall Street. Their chicken tastes good!

    -> Use SHOULD to express that a situation is likely either in the present or future.


    - Jenna SHOULD be home by now. Let me give her a call.

    - I posted the cheque yesterday so it SHOULD arrive this week.

    -> Sometimes SHOULD is used to make rules, orders or instructions sound more polite (formal).

    Example: - Passengers SHOULD check in at least two hours before departure time.


    What about MUST?

    -> Use MUST to emphasize the necessity of something; or to talk about laws and regulations.


    - You MUST wear a seatbelt at all times. (= not only is it necessary, but also important and compulsory for you to wear a seatbelt)

    -> Also, MUST is used to express what we don't know but we are sure that it is true (based on evidence).


    - The ground was wet this morning. It MUST have rained last night.

    - Dad MUST be home. His car is here.


    Now that you have known the differences, complete the following sentences with SHOULD or MUST.


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    English exercise "Should or Must" created by anuesther with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from anuesther]
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    1. Look at all of that snow. It be really cold outside.

    2. Plants have sunlight, water and air to grow well.

    3. Can you recommend any exercise, or I see a doctor?

    4. My sister is on her way, she be here soon.

    5. By next month, I have enough money to buy a new mobile phone.

    6. It's five in the morning and you still haven't gone to bed? You be tired for sure.

    7. I told Kathy she try to get some rest.

    8. He not play with those wires if he doesn't know what he is doing.

    9. We have a special permit to camp in the national park.

    10. You pay more attention in class if you want good grades.

    11. Dear me! I have called Fred this morning but I forgot.

    End of the free exercise to learn English: Should or Must
    A free English exercise to learn English.
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