Warnings and prohibitions

We have different options to express obligation, prohibition, permission or possibility. We can use the following verbs…

Obligation Prohibition   Permission Possibility
Be necessary Be forbidden Be allowed Be OK
Be prohibited Be permitted
Be illegal
e.g. It is necessary to show your boarding card = Showing your boarding card is necessaryMODAL VERBS
Must: strong obligation (based on the speaker’s opinion), e.g. I must study today. Mustn’t/Can’t : negative obligation/ prohibition, e.g. You mustn’t /can’t smoke here. Can: Permission / possibility, e.g. You can copy the document Don’t have to: not necessary, e.g. I don’t have to work on Sundays.
Have to: strong obligation (from outside), e.g. Children have to go to school.

Be careful about the difference between mustn’t and don’t have to! If in doubt, look at these two verbs separately, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

This entry was posted in Face2face Intermediate, Grammar, Speak Out Intermediate, Textbook, Unit 10. Bookmark the permalink.

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