Tag Archives: modal verbs

Language Functions: Must, Don’t have to

Language Functions Prohibition ObligationIf you want to check out more language pins to review the basics or learn something new, then why not check out the Inglés Málaga pin it board?

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Language Functions: Modal Verb Should

Language Functions ShouldIf you want to check out more language pins to review the basics or learn something new, then why not check out the Inglés Málaga pin it board?

Modal Mania: Janette it is prohibited: You are not allowed to..

No peekingIn my family we have a lot of Christmas traditions and customs, for example:

  1. We can’t open our presents until after lunch on Christmas Day. In fact, we are allowed to look at them, but we can’t touch, shake, smell or lick them
  2. Nobody is allowed to spend more than £30 on a single present
  3. My mother will not let us watch TV
  4. Nobody is allowed to blow out the Christmas candle that burns in our home for the 12 nights leading up to Christmas Day
  5. Nobody is allowed to sit under the chimney waiting for Father Christmas, nor are we allowed to drink the brandy we leave for him and his little helpers

Modal Mania: Janette requires some advice: You ought to.

Purchase SuggestionsIn my book, gift giving is a pleasure but thinking of an appropriate gift, locating it and then ensuring you are permitted to use plastic to pay for it can sometimes be a pain in the neck.

My mother is only interested in 3 things in life: Bach, hats, and church bells. Stereotypically speaking, women like to have a big wardrobe for all their clothes but my mother needs to have a whole room to store all her hats. In her free time she runs from one village church to another yanking bell ropes and our family home shakes as Bach’s B minor mass blares out most evenings irritating the deer and foxes.

With this in mind, I need your help. What ought I to buy her, the woolly bear hat, the church bell or the wig? Let me know, when you have a moment.

Modal Mania: Janette’s abilities: Has she managed to set up her new Apple phone?

MANAGED TO, SUCCEEDED IN, WAS ABLE TO are used to express achievements or non-achievements connected to ability at a specific point in the past.
MobileSo, Janette, welcome to the 21st century! You have a new mobile due to the kindness and generosity of your sister.

So, is it exhausted with all that trending, tweeting and twotting, the whatsapping and ipinning, the selfying and buying and selling, the counselling and predicting, and the sending emojis and emojoys?

No, it doesn’t need to take a nap yet because although I managed to work out how to turn it on and after a lot of effort I succeeded in recharging it, unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put in my sim card. So, at the moment it’s collecting dust in a drawer!

Caution: most of the words above describing the functionality of mobiles aren’t ‘real ‘words, I’m just practising for when I join the WhatsUp-App community!

Modal Mania: Janette, these are your personal obligations: You MUST

mustMust and Have to, can be used to express obligations. Simply put: Must expresses a personal obligation while Have to an impersonal obligation or fact.

So, with this in mind:

  1. I must start writing my Christmas cards.
  2. I must go on the wagon for a few weeks because I want to drink like a fish during the festive period.
  3. I must check my bank balance to ensure that my credit card isn’t about to be confiscated.
  4. I must stockpile bottles of wine and tins of lager because drinking is the only way to cope with Christmas jingles.
  5. I must stockpile a lot of pain killers.
  6. I must find a new boyfriend who is keen on the concept of ‘part-time temporary’ dating. All this commitment is getting on my nerves.
  7. I must think of an unquestionable reason why I’ve decided not to spend Christmas with my family.
  8. I must remind myself not to go ice skating because this leads to broken bones.
  9. I must invent a cheap gadget to help my ass defy the law of gravity.

Gosh, I feel exhausted with all these obligations!

Modal Mania: It’s an obligation Janette: You MUST, You HAVE TO.

Must and Have to, can be used to express obligations. Simply put: Must expresses a personal obligation while Have to an impersonal obligation or a fact. As Christmas is not far off my mother has given me the following obligations:

Janette obligations Well, my plan is to avoid going back to the UK for Christmas so I don’t have to do any of the above. Furthermore, I would rather slit my own wrists and cut out my tongue than drink eggnog. Eggnog is for nutjobs and dairy lovers!

scarecrowSeriously, what’s the problem with looking like a scarecrow, talking about my new favourite Spanish sitcom, ‘Gym Tony’, and drinking vodka?

Modal Mania: It’s the law Janette! You MUST, You MUST NOT

Public notices and laws express obligations with the modal verb MUST and MUST NOT.
So what do these public notices mean? Perhaps:Public Notices

  1. Police, you must look the other way, I’m growing some medicinal plant life.
  2. You must not enter this club if you have a heart problem.
  3. You must not buy a kangaroo for Christmas, they are wild ferocious animals and I can’t stand them!

road signsNow, this is a gentle reminder to my Spanish driving friends about road regulations.

  1. At a traffic light, you must stop at a red light; a red light does not mean you must accelerate.
  2. At a roundabout, you must pay attention to lanes and indicate to let everyone know what you are doing.
  3. Motorbikes must not drive on the pavement.
  4. You must not deliberately crash into the front or back of a car in order to make a parking space bigger
  5. You must not put on mascara, check your WhatsUp?-App, nor take your pants off.

I must, I have to: It’s an obligation, isn’t it?

Bird's nest or Janette's hair minus the eggs

Bird’s nest or Janette’s hair without the eggs?

In general the difference between Must and Have to is connected to personal opinion. If it is your personal opinion to do something then usually we use MUST + BARE INFINITIVE, and if it isn’t connected to your opinion, for example an external situation, then we usually use HAVE TO + BARE INFINITIVE.

MUST:

  1. My hair looks like a bird’s nest I must go to the hairdressers.
  2. I must phone my mother because I’ve not spoken to her for a month.

HAVE TO:

  1. My nephew has to go to school
  2. I had to walk home last night as I missed the last bus.

Sounds easy?! Well, test your knowledge here: Click here

Mission possible: Must, Might, Could

adrenaline junkieWe use the modal verbs: Must, Might and Could when we want to express a possibility. So, imagine that Pepé de Ronda is an adrenaline junkie who is very keen on rock climbing and we want to know where he is.

So we ask: Where is Pepé de Ronda?

  1. He MUST be rock climbing ( I am 100% sure)
  2. He MIGHT be white water rafting. ( I am 75% sure)
  3. He COULD be in the pub with Janette. ( 50% It’s a possible option)

Grammar Tip!  Please remember, if you use a modal verb, you have to use the bare infinitive in the following verbMODAL VERB+ BARE INFINITIVE (B.INF:without TO ) MUST BE, MIGHT BE, COULD BE