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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #117587: Should or Must
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.
- 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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