Web Based Learning Object
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Have to / Should - Modal Verbs of Obligation Level 2

There are many ways to give advice, express obligation or give opinions in English. We usually use modal verbs, such as, should, ought to, must, have to, may, can, had better and so on.

Have / has to

Have/has to expresses a strong obligation to do something.

For example:
School children in England often have to wear a uniform (= It is the school rule).

The form have / has to is followed by the infinitive of the verb, in this case 'wear'.

Must has a similar meaning to have/has to, but it expresses the feelings of the speaker.Have/has to expresses the feelings of another person - a policeman, teacher or parent etc.

Compare these 2 sentences:
I must stop smoking (= I want to stop smoking)
He has to work tomorrow (= His boss wants him to work. He doesn't want to!)
Both have/has to and must are followed by the infinitive of the verb.

Should is used for suggestions, advice and opinions.

It is less strong than. Have / has to and can be used as a polite way to give instructions or orders.

Ought to is similar to should.
Both should and ought to are followed by the infinitive of the verb.

For example:
You look terrible. You (should / ought to) go home.

The negative form of these modal verbs is a little more complex!

Compare these sentences:
You have to wear a seat belt when the plane takes off.
You do not have to wear a seat belt when you are eating your lunch on the plane.
You should buy travellers cheques for your holiday, they are safer than cash.
You shouldn't drink too much alcohol when flying.

Be careful! The negative forms have different meanings:
Shouldn't = means you are advised not to something (the opposite of should)
Don't have to = means it is not necessary to do something, only if you want to.

Read the paragraph below giving advice to someone who is going to study in England and choose the correct modal verb (negative or positive).

Assessment Help: Fill in the gaps by selecting the correct answer.

" If you don't have a European passport, you will probably get a visa from your embassy before you travel. The language school or university you are going to study at send you a letter of invitation to take to the embassy. You also take a bank statement, your certificates and any other papers you will need. Often you wait in a long queue to get the visa, so be patient!"

"After you get your visa I think you buy a good dictionary. You buy an expensive electronic one, a paper dictionary be ok. If you haven't studied English for a long time maybe you join a language course in your country to improve your level before you go."

"Finally, you do some research on the Internet to find out about the city you are going to stay in and you believe people that tell you it rains all the time in England and they only eat potatoes!."

Assessment Results: (access key 'm')

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