Obligation and freedom to act


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Usage Modal Verb Example
No choice – you have to do this Must / have to As citizens we must obey the laws of the country in which we live.
No choice – you cannot do this Must not /not be allowed to / cannot Citizens must not break the laws of the society in which they live.
Recommended – you should do this Should / Ought to Students choosing to study post-graduate programmes should fund their own education costs.
Recommended – you should not do this Should not / Ought not to Children should not argue with adults.
You can choose to do this if you want to To be allowed to/can/ Many children are allowed to watch television whenever they want to.
You can choose not to do this if you want to Need not / do not need to / do not have to In Britain, motorists do not need to carry their driving licence with them when driving their cars, which is quite unusual.
Needs and necessities Need to We need to find a solution to problems of poverty in the developing world.

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