Obligation and freedom to act

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UsageModal VerbExample
No choice – you have to do thisMust / have toAs citizens we must obey the laws of the country in which we live.
No choice – you cannot do thisMust not /not be allowed to / cannotCitizens must not break the laws of the society in which they live.
Recommended – you should do thisShould / Ought toStudents choosing to study post-graduate programmes should fund their own education costs.
Recommended – you should not do thisShould not / Ought not toChildren should not argue with adults.
You can choose to do this if you want toTo 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 toNeed not / do not need to / do not have toIn Britain, motorists do not need to carry their driving licence with them when driving their cars, which is quite unusual.
Needs and necessitiesNeed toWe need to find a solution to problems of poverty in the developing world.

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