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Obligation, Necessity, And Prohibition
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Obligation, Necessity, And Prohibition

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  • 1. OBLIGATION, NECESSITY, AND PROHIBITION MUST, HAVE TO, HAVE GOT TO
    • AFFIRMATIVE USE  strong obligation
    • We can use “must”, “have to” and “have got to” to express obligation.
    • Broadly speaking, when “must” is used, the obligation comes from the speaker, (internal obligation):
    • I really must stop smoking.
  • 2. OBLIGATION, NECESSITY, AND PROHIBITION MUST, HAVE TO, HAVE GOT TO
    • If we talk about or report an obligation that comes from “outside” (for example: a regulation or order from somebody else)
        • “ must” is possible (especially in written rules) 
        • Cars must not be parked here.
        • “ have to” is more common 
        • I have to work from 9 a.m till 5 p.m. (an order from the boss)
        • “ have got to” is usually only used in spoken English or written fiction. It can be used for “external” and “internal” obligation 
        • I’ve got to post this letter before 7 0’clock.
  • 3. OBLIGATION, NECESSITY, AND PROHIBITION MUST, HAVE TO, HAVE GOT TO
    • NEGATIVE USE
        • In negative sentences “don’t need to”, “needn’t”, “don’t have to” or “haven’t got to” is used to say that there’s no obligation; 
            • you needn’t work tomorrow if you don’t want to.
            • (NOT  mustn’t)
        • “ Mustn’t” is used to tell people not to do things; means that something is wrong, dangerous or not permitted 
            • you mustn’t move any paper on my desk.
  • 4. SHOULD AND OUGHT TO
    • “ Should” and “ought to” are used to express mild obligation and duty, and in general to say what we think it is good for people to do 
        • you shouldn’t work too hard.
    • In most cases, both “should” and “ought to” can be used with more or less the same meaning.
        • You should /ought to go and see your uncle. He’s very ill.
  • 5. SHOULD AND OUGHT TO
    • However, there is a slight difference:
      • When we use “should” we give our own subjective opinion;
      • “ Ought to” has a rather more objective force, and is used when we talk about laws, duties and regulations.
          • We ought to go and see your uncle next week, but I don’t think we will.
          • It would sound strange to use should and then add we are not going to see him.
  • 6. BE ALLOWED TO + infinitive
    • It’s used to talk about things you can do or are permitted to do.
    • It is similar in meaning with “permit”, however “permit” is a little more formal.
    • Both verbs can be followed by OBJECT + INFINITIVE
        • We don’t allow people to smoke in class.
    • It’s worth stating here that when there is no personal object , a gerund (-ing form) is used 
        • We don’t allow smoking in class.