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The modal verb must has only one form (the modal equivalents have to, be obliged to are used to supply the missing forms of the verb must).

Must can be used in the concrete, imperative, and suppositional modal meanings.

1. Must is used in the concretemeaning to express necessityandobligation. In this meaning it can be used in all types of sentences (affirmative, negative and interrogative). Must itself is used only referring to the present or future, its equivalents may be used to express the same idea in the present, past or future.

E.g. I mustgo there tonight. (нужно, нужно)

The absence of necessity is expressed by need not.

2. In the imperativemeaning must is used to express order-admonition (urgent/emphatic request),command,and prohibition. Must is used only with the non-perfect infinitive in the meaning.

- order-admonition

E.g. You must come and see my new flat.

- command

E.g. You must leave the room at once.

- strict prohibition(“нельзя”)

E.g. You mustn’tdo it!

3. In the suppositionalmeaning must is used to express probabilityor supposition bordering on assurance, almost a conviction. It may be used only in affirmative sentences and refers to “должно быть, вероятно”. When it is used with the non-perfect infinitive, it expressesnear certainty about the present.

E.g. He must know her. They must be waiting for us.

When it’s used with the perfect infinitive, it expresses near certainty about the past.

E.g. He must have known her. They must have been waiting for us there. She must have doneit.

Note 1: Must can’t be used in negative sentences in this meaning. To express supposition in this case, the modal word evidently can be used.

E.g. Evidently, she didn’t know my address.

Note 2: Must can’t be used to express supposition about the future. The modal word probablyor the modal expressions be likely, be sure are to be used.

E.g. He’s sure to be here in time. He’s likely to become a teacher. He’ll probably come tomorrow. He’s not likely to come so late.

Must as a rule, remains unchanged in indirect speech, if it expresses advice,order, or supposition bordering on assurance (“должно быть”).

E.g. She told him he must be more careful. She was informed that she must never again walk much.

Must is generally replaced by had to if it expressesnecessity arising out of circumstances.

E.g. She said she had to get up early every morning.

Must is generally replaced by was/were to if it expresses arrangementor strict order.

E.g. She said shewas to ring him up at two o’clock.

Exercise 194. Read and comment on the meaning of the modal verb. Translate the sentences into Russian.

1. I must speak the truth and nothing but the truth. 2. That shows that there must be something wrong about it. 3. Books must be read as deliberately and reservedly as they were written. 4. What lovely trees and essentially how beautiful life must be near them. 5.

But surely you must agree with me that the other woman must have gone to the wrong flat. 6. “Impossible,” I cried, “You must be making a mistake.” 7. Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. 8. They must have gone off to get help. 9. We must find out just how we stand. 10. So we think that’s what we must have done. 11. “Well, it must be quite simple really, mustn’t it?” said Mrs. Marple. 12. Some of those four people must have been approached or communicated with. 13. Yes, I think there must have been some little romance there. 14. She must be leading a very quiet life. 15. “But you must have heard it”, he exclaimed. 16. She felt that she must go through with her strange experience single-handed.

Exercise 195. State the function of the modal verb must.

Sea fever

John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.

Exercise 196. State the function of the modal verbs must/may.

The law of hospitality

Gelett Burgess

There is a very simple rule

That everyone should know;

You may not hear of it in school,

But everywhere you go,

In every land where people dwell,

And men are good and true,

You’ll find they understand it well,

And so I’ll tell it you:

To everyone who gives me food,

Or shares his home with me,

I owe a debt of gratitude,

And I must loyal be.

I may not laugh at him, or say

Of him a word unkind;

His friendliness I must repay,

And to his faults be blind.

Exercise 197. Read the jokes. State the function of the modal verb must.


- I am sorry about the way the pie tastes, darling. It must be something I left out.

- Nothing you left out could make it taste like that. It must be something you put in.


- Bill’s wife always laughs at his jokes.

- They must be pretty clever.

- No, she is.


- Your roof must be leaking. Does it always leak?

- No, only when it rains.


- This is an ideal spot for a picnic!

- It must be. Fifty million insects can’t be wrong.


“Jimmy,” said his mother severely, “there were two pieces of cake in the pantry this morning and now there’s only one. How is that?”

“Well, it must have been so dark I didn’t see the other piece.”

Exercise 198. Read the story. In what meanings are the modal verbs used? What impression does the story produce? Why?

You are the best You

I must learn that I cannot be loved by everyone. That is the ideal. In our world it is not often found. I can be the finest plum in the world, ripe, juicy, succulent and offer myself to all. But I must remember that there will be people who do not like plums. I must understand that if I am the world’s finest plum and someone I love does not like plums, I have the choice of becoming a banana. But I must be warned that if I choose to become a banana, I will be a second rate banana. But I can J always be the best plum.

I must realize that if I choose to be a second rate banana, I run the risk of the loved one finding me second rate and wanting only the best, discarding me. I can then spend my life trying to become the best banana – which is impossible if I am a plum – or I can seek again to be the best plum.

In other words, if you are a plum – be the best darn plum you can possibly be – you are the best you.

Exercise 199. In what situations do you say the following? Make up short dialogues.


1. The inevitable must be accepted. 2. What can’t be cured, must be endured. 3. What must be, must be. 4. He who would eat the nut, must first crack the shell. 5. He that goes barefoot must not plant thorns. 6. If you must, you must. 7. You must look into people as well as at them.


1. You must think I have a very short memory. 2. He must have known it. 3. You must be imagining all this. 4. She must have made it all up. 5. You must have misunderstood me. 6. It must seem very funny to you. 7. That must have been a pretty long time ago. 8. She must be my age. 9. She must have heard it all. 10. He must be sorry for what he has done. 11. You must have been waiting for a long time. 12. She must do it right away.

Exercise 200. Imagine you are assigned a position of a director of a travelling agency. Make a list of the requirements your employees must follow. Use must or mustn’t in every sentence. (10 items)

Exercise 201. Mind that must is not used to express near certainty about negative action. In addition to evidently the following means are possible:

E.g. He must have failed to get in touch with her.

He must have misunderstood you.

He must be unaware of the fact.

He must never have guessed the truth.

No one must have told them about it.

Make the following sentences opposite in meaning:

Model 1. The teacher must have already come. – Evidently the teacher hasn’t come yet.

1. It must take you a lot of time to get to the University. 2. She must have followed your advice. 3. The medicine must have done him a lot of good. 4. She must be doing well at the University. 5. She must have enjoyed the trip greatly.

Model 2. He must have coped with the task. - He must have failed to cope with the task.

1. He must have got in touch with them. 2. They must have talked it over with her. 3. He must have got tickets for the first night of the play. 4. They must have come to an agreement. 5. He must have solved the problem.

Model 3. She must be very patient. – She must be very impatient.

1. He must be accustomed to such treatment. 2. She must like getting up early. 3. They must have obeyed his instructions. 4. She must be pleased with herself. 5. She must be certain of success.

Model 4. Somebody must have told him about it. – Nobody must have told him about it.

1. Somebody must have helped him to carry out the plan. 2. He must know something about it. 3. Something must have prevented him from having his own way. 4. He must have turned for somebody for advice. 5. He must have made many mistakes in the test.

Model 5. He must have been there. - He must never have been there.

1. He must have seen such things. 2. She must have often thought of such an opportunity. 3. She must have studied English. 4. He must have dealt with such problems. 5. He must have taken up photography.

Exercise 202. Translate into English using Active Grammar.


1. Ты не должен забывать, что твой долг – хорошо учиться. 2. Человечество должно охранять природу. 3. - Что должна я сделать, чтобы понравиться им? - Ничего особенного. Ты должна оставаться сама собой. 4. Запомни, пожалуйста͵ ребенок не должен вмешиваться в разговор со взрослыми. 5. Каждый член семьи должен иметь обязанности по дому и выполнять их. 6. - Что я должна сделать, чтобы отделаться от этого ужасного кашля? - Прежде всœего, вы должны бросить курить. 9. Преподаватель cказал, что мы должны быть более активны на уроке. 10. Все указания врача должны выполняться.


1. Она, должно быть, принимает экзамен у студентов 2 курса в аудитории 28. 2. - Его жена, очевидно, одного с ним возраста. - Нет, она, должно быть, моложе. По крайней мере, она выглядит моложе его. 3. Она, должно быть, нервничала на экзамене и отвечала хуже, чем обычно. 4. Она уже не ходит так часто в кино или театр. - Да, домашнее хозяйство, вероятно, занимает у нее много времени. 5. Я не могу дозвониться ему. Должно быть, он не включил свой телœефон. 6. - Я не могу найти ключи от машины. - Ты, должно быть, снова потерял их. 7. Кто-то забыл перчатки. Это, наверное, Лена, она такая рассеянная. 8. Наверное, что-то случилось с ними. Я так волнуюсь! 9. Тебе лучше остаться дома. Наверное, сейчас пойдет дождь. Посмотри, какие черные тучи! 10. Все билеты, вероятно, проданы, так как это премьера. Фильм имеет большой успех. 11. Должно быть, их нет дома. Очевидно, они уехали за город. 12. Должно быть, они так и не встретились. Он, должно быть, приехал в Москву, когда она уже уехала в поездку за границу.


1. Мне бы хотелось познакомиться с ней. Ты должен представить меня при случае. 2. Я должен знать, что происходит. Вы не должны ничего скрывать от меня. 3. Я так волнуюсь. От нее нет писем. Что-то, очевидно, случилось. 4. Она, должно быть, очень небрежна и невнимательна. Посмотри сколько нелœепых ошибок у нее в проверочной работе. 5. Она давно обещала мне принœести эту книгу, но, вероятно, совсœем забыла об этом. 6. Вы, наверное, знаете, что на нашем факультете действует программа международного обмена в области экологического образования. 7. Она, вероятно, не захотела прийти. У нее, по-видимому, плохое настроение. 8. Очевидно, погода изменится к лучшему. Ветер прекратился. Небо чистое.

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