Modal Verb MUST
Hello English learners. Welcome to a new lesson We will look at the use of the modal verb must.
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Use of the modal verb “must”
We use must to say that something is necessary, important or prescribed by law.
- You must water this plant if you don’t want it to wilt.
- You must answer all the questions on the test.
- The gate must be locked after ten.
Use must not (mustn’t) in a negative sentence to say that something should not happen because it is regulated by law or a (social) rule.
- You mustn’t shout when your brother is sleeping.
- Things in the museum must not be touched.
- We mustn’t forget how much we owe to our parents.
We also use must to say that something is most likely to have happened or to be true.
- Their house must be worth a fortune. It’s quite big.
- You’ve been working all day. You must be very tired.
- I can’t see Simon. He must be at home.
We also use must to recommend things.
- You must come and visit us sometime.
- This dress suits you beautifully. You must buy it.
- You must watch the film. It’s great!
We can say that something is “a must” when we think that it is necessary.
- Good-quality boots are a must if you go hiking in the mountains.
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Something can be must-see, must-have, must-read, must-watch, etc. if you think that it is so interesting that people should have it, watch it, etc.
- This bag is a must-have.
- The new film with Robert Carlyle is a must-watch.
Must and have to
We can use must in the present only as there is no past or future form of must; it borrows all its other forms from the modal verb have to.
- Ann had to work overtime yesterday in order to finish her project.
- Do I have to wear a uniform?
- Do you think we will have to take our shoes off?
- Their colleague is on holiday so they’ve had to do her job, too.
Never use “to” after must:
Susan must to do her homework
Susan must do her homework.
To refer to the past, use the structure must have + past participle.
- They are not at home. They must have gone out.
- The thieves must have entered through the bathroom window.
- I must have left my phone in that cafe where we stopped for a coffee.
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