Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 24 – Grammar – Modal Verbs – Sentence Meanings & Situations

Welcome back to some more grammar! Today are more modals, but now we’re actually going to use them in real life situations, such as what I talk about in the podcasts. First, let me explain a few of these that I haven’t gone over just yet.

  • Should, shouldn’t, ought to, had (‘d) better (not) to give and ask for advice and recommendations. Had better is especially for when we think we should do something because it’s a good idea. Ought to and had (‘d) better are slightly less common in negative and question form.
  • Don’t need to or needn’t are the same and talk about things which are not obligatory or necessary. With needn’t we do not use to before the infinitive.

Now let’s look at some of these sentences.

Do they have the same meaning? Examples in the podcast.

1a I didn’t need to go to school yesterday.

1b. I needn’t have gone to school yesterday.

2a You don’t have to eat everything on the plate.

2b You mustn’t eat everything on the plate.

In 1a, didn’t need to and needn’t to have the same meaning. However, in 2, don’t have to is an option while mustn’t is mandatory.

Complete The Following

4a You have to use a pencil to fill in the form.

4b You’ve got to use a pencil to fill in the form.

5a When I was small, I wasn’t allowed to stay up late.

5b When I was small, I may not have stayed up late.

6a I must have worn a school uniform in secondary school.

6b I had to wear a school uniform in secondary school.

7a You shouldn’t wake her up yet.

7b You aren’t supposed to wake her up yet.

8a Must you make noise while I’m working?

8b Do you have to make noise while I’m working?

Talk about the situations in the podcast using present and past modals. One example in the podcast above!

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