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Published byBrice Reynolds Modified over 8 years ago
CAN / CAN’T We use “CAN”: To talk about ability “I can play the guitar.” To give or ask permission “Can I go to the restroom?” “You can have a 10-minute- break.” To say that something is possible “In Afyon it can snow even in March.” We use CANNOT =CAN’T To express lack of ability “He can’t swim.” To express prohibiton “You can’t smoke here!” “You can’t use a calculator” To say that something is impossible “Water can’t boil under 100 °C. CAN and CAN’T can be used in only simple past tense: COULD “I could read when I was three”
BE ABLE TO and CAN We use “Be able to” to form other tense forms for ability.We use “Be able to” to form other tense forms for ability. “I will be able to speak English at the end of the semester. (but not, I will can....)” “I was able to climb the peak of the mountain” ( with a past reference, be able to is used to talk about a specific aim in the past, referring to only that particular action of that time) this is the difference between “could” and “was able to”. “I was able to cross the Finish in that marathon.”
BE ALLOWED TO and CAN When giving or asking for permission or expressing prohibition both can be used:When giving or asking for permission or expressing prohibition both can be used: “You can go out during the lesson” “You are allowed to go out during the lesson.” “Can we listen to music?” “Are we allowed to listen to music? “They can’t speak Turkish in the lesson.” “They aren’t allowed to speak Turkish in the lesson.” “You can’t look up a word while you are reading” “You aren’t allowed to look up a word while you are reading.”
MUST and HAVE TO We use Must To talk about rulesTo talk about rules “You must bring your books” To talk about obligationTo talk about obligation “I must find a part-time job.” We use “must” when we are talking about our own decisions. We use “have to” to report decisions taken by other people especially of higher authority. Teacher: “You must listen when your friend is speaking!” Jennifer: What did she say? Alex: We have to listen to our friend when she is speaking.(We have no other choice, it is the teacher’s order) Simple Past form of must is HAD TO, You can use “have to” in all tenses but “must” doesn’t change. “I will have to look after the pets.” “I had to do the shopping”
MUSTN’T and DON’T HAVE TO We use MUSTN’T to talk about an obligation or a rule:We use MUSTN’T to talk about an obligation or a rule: “You mustn’t smoke here!” (same as: You can’t smoke here!” Don’t have to expresses a lack of necessity or obligationDon’t have to expresses a lack of necessity or obligation “We don’t have to wear a jacket at university but we had to in high school” Also, (or needn’t) can be used instead of don’t have to.Also, don’t need to (or needn’t) can be used instead of don’t have to. “I don’t need to study, I know the modals.” “I needn’t study, I know the modals.” “She needn’t / doesn’t need to wake up early on Sundays.”
May / Might May / Might express possibility, we are not sure if something will happen or not:May / Might express possibility, we are not sure if something will happen or not: “I may watch TV if I feel up to” “It might rain in the afternoon” “You may not / might not find the correct answer, it’s too difficult.” “May” is used for asking permission in a more polite way instead of “can”“May” is used for asking permission in a more polite way instead of “can” “ Can I open the windows?” “May I open the windows? (more polite)
Should / Ought to We use should / ought to To express obligation ( but not as strong as “must”)To express obligation ( but not as strong as “must”) “You should write down the new words with meanings” “You shouldn’t memorise their Turkish meanings” “You ought to use English English dictionary” At the same time, we use “should and ought to” to give advice:At the same time, we use “should and ought to” to give advice: “ You should see the doctor.” “You shouldn’t play computer games for too long” “You ought not to (oughtn’t to) stay up late.
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