How to use English modal verb MUST | DailyStep English

How to use English modal verb MUST

How can we use MUST in English?

5 Uses of MUSTHello, I'm Jane at DailyStep English. MUST is an English modal, and there are 5 ways you can use it. I find that students often only learn one or two of its meanings, and this can cause mistakes and misunderstandings. This free lesson will teach you all the ways to use MUST so you can avoid mistakes in future.

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Now, let's learn how to use MUST:




How To Use MUST

 

MUST is a modal verb – in other words, it helps give meaning to other verbs. Let’s look at all its meanings here, so you can avoid misunderstandings!


Meaning 1: We use MUST when we want to say that it is necessary or very important that something happens in the present or future.
Examples: 
1. I must work hard on my English! (note: this expresses an obligation that you place on yourself.)

2. You mustn’t (= must not) tell this to anyone. It is a secret.

3. This food must not be eaten. It has gone bad.

4. Pupils must not run in the corridors. (note: here, ‘must’ expresses a school rule.)

Meaning 2: We use MUST to give emphasis to an opinion.
Examples: 
1. I must admit, it was a frightening experience. (note: we use ' I must admit' before a surprising or negative comment.)


2. I must say, this food is delicious! (note: in this sentence, we would not say ‘I must admit, this food is delicious!’ because it would mean that we did not expect the food to be delicious. This would sound a little rude!)


3. I must admit, I didn’t like him much when I first met him.


4. I must say, you look really well! Have you been on holiday?

 

Meaning 3: We use MUST to emphasise that we think it is a good idea for someone to do something pleasant. It is a way of giving a recommendation.
Examples: 
1. You must come and visit us while you are in London! 


2. We must go and see that film – I have heard it is excellent!


Meaning 4: We use MUST to make an assumption or to reach a logical conclusion about something that is very likely to be true.
Examples: 
1. You must be so tired after running that marathon! (note: this means ‘I assume that you are so tired.’)


2. My bicycle has disappeared – someone must have stolen it. (note: this means ‘I assume that someone has stolen it.’)


3. You must have been so cold when you were locked out of your house in the snow! (note: this means ‘I assume that you were so cold.’)


NoteIn meaning 4, above, the opposite of MUST is CAN’T.

Examples: 
1. He didn’t eat any lunch – he can’t have been hungry. (note: this means ‘ I assume that he was not hungry.’)


2. I don’t believe he is a thief – it can’t be true. (note: this means ‘I assume that it is not true.’)

.
MUST can also be used a NOUN
Meaning: We say something is A MUST if it is really necessary to have it.
Example: If you are visiting London, a good map is a must.

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Now, try to write your own sentences using MUST, making sure that they are true to your own life as this will help you to remember them better!

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How To Use Must In English - Modal Verb Audio Lesson