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Focus 8 Mustn’t, Don’t have to and Needn’t

· You mustn’t shout in the library.

· You don’t have to/needn’t shout. I can hear you perfectly well.


Mustn’t is used when something is prohibited or forbidden. Don’t have to means “it isn’t necessary”. Needn’t can also be used in this way.

Note: The negative of must (obligation) is don’t have to/needn’t.


Exercise I. Choose the correct answer:


1. She … (have to, will, should, could) Be home by now. I’m worried.

2. Children … (can, must, won’t, has to) be accompanied by an adult in the zoo.

3. … (will, shall, must, would) I turn on the heater? It’s chilly in here.

4. They … (wouldn’t, mustn’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t) hear him because he was whispering.

5. You’ve never heard of the Beatles?! You … (must, had to, can’t, shouldn’t) be serious!

6. … (Will, May, Shall, Would) you like to have dinner with me today?

7. He … (mustn’t, wouldn’t, couldn’t, can’t) hear about the party tomorrow. It’s a surprise!

8. That shopping bag looks very heavy. I … (will, must, should, may) help you carry it.

9. … (Will, May, Would, Shall) I speak to the Chief Inspector of Police, please?

10. I crashed into a wall, but luckily … (would, be able to, could, had to, was able to) force open the car door and escape.


Exercise II. Choose the most appropriate modals:


1. They … (can’t, wouldn’t, must, might as well) agree to lower my municipal taxes even though the house is quite old.

2. I think the finger is broken. You … (might, could, ought to, can) go to hospital.

3. The car is filthy. I … (may, might, will, ought) help you clean it.

4. When I was a child, I … (had to, would, should, might) sit for hours reading fairy tales.

5. She … (has to, wouldn’t, needn’t, can’t) come early. Dinner isn’t 9.00 p.m.

6. There’s been an accident! … (Shall, Can, May, Ought) I call an ambulance?

7. You … (won’t, mustn’t, couldn’t, ought to) cheat at the exams. It’s forbidden.

8. The bus was badly damaged in the accident, but the children … (can, had to, ought to, were able to) get out through a broken window.

9. If you are interested in a carrier in sport, you … (could, must, had to, have got to) try talking to our tennis coach.

10. I can hear the siren now. It … (can, would, must, have to) be the police.

The Future Simple (Indefinite) Tense



The Future Indefiniteis formed with shall/will + the Infinitive of the main verb.

The children will come home in half an hour.

The children will not come home in half an hour.

Will the children come home in half an hour?

Note: In modern English will is preferable with all persons. Any difference between shall and will disappears in everyday speech where the contractions I'll and we’ll are normally used.

Main uses

The Future Simple (Indefinite) is used to denote:

1. A predicted future action, a happening which is inevitable and out of anybody's control

The population of the world will reachsix billion people by 2000.

The weather tomorrow will bewarm and sunny.

She’ll behere in a few minutes.

The company will makea profit next year. Reference to the future is often indicated by adverbials of time such as tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, in aweek (month, year) next year, in 2000, etc.

2. An actionwhich the speaker regards as possible, probable or likely to happen in future (near or remote).

I think they willeasily winthe match.

I'm sure you will enjoyyour visit to the Zoo.

We'll probably spendout holiday in Scotland this summer.

I don't think Tom will passhis examination. He hasn't done any work for it.

3. An action decided on spontaneously, out of circumstances (an action which is not part of a plan).

Oh, I've left the door open. I’ll goand shutit.

I 'm too tired to walk home. I think I'll takea taxi.

I'm afraid Mr. Wood can't see you until 4 o 'clock. - Oh, in that case I won't wait.

It's a bit cold in this room. - Is it? I'll turnon the heating then. Close to the given meaning is the use of the Future Simple in promises, offers, and warnings (often in the principal clause of a complex conditional sentence).

I will lendyou the money you need.

I won't tell anybody, I promise.

Mr. Brown will pickyou upat the airport.

Thank you for lending me the money. I'll payyou back on Friday.

If you eat too much of that curry, you'll geta stomach ache.

4. Enquiry for an instruction, recommendation, advice in interrogative sentences (often in rhetorical questions). These are addressed to the 1st person singular or plural and take "shall".

Shall we do it orally?

What shall I do now?

Shall 1 send you a fax? Sometimes questions with "shall" are asked to offer help.

Shall I help you?

Shall I carry your bag?

Shall I water the roses now? Interrogative requests, instructions, warningsaddressed to the 2nd person take "will".

Willyou bequiet, please?

Willyou getme a paper while you're out?

Note: 1) The Future Simple in the negative form can be used to talk about refusals, resistance or reluctance, to do something.

The door won't open.

Thepen won't write.

5. "will/shall be able to", "will/shall have to" are used to replace the modal verbs "can" and "must" in the future.

One day we will be able to live without wars.

I think I will be able to speak English quite well in a few months.

When you leave school you'll have to find a job.

6. will/'ll is used for typical behavior

She'll sit talking to herself for hours.

I'm always asking him to come but he won't

As compared to the Present Simple for habitual actions, the Future Simple adds a note of greater certainty to an utterance and is more frequently used in conversational speech.

She is a very hard-working student and attends classes regularly.

She is a very hard-working student in general but sometimes she will skip a lecture or two.

7. In Indirect Speech the Future Simple Tense is replaced by the Future in the Past (according to the rules of sequence of tenses).

The adverbials of future time tomorrow, next week, etc. are replaced by the next day, the next week, etc.

They said they would winthe match the next week.

She informed us she would deliverthe lecture the next month.

The thief said he would hitme unless I toldhim where the money was.

She wondered if she would goto college if she gotgood grades in her exams.


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