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MODAL VERBS

1. Lesson

• Could do something -> It's possible for someone to do something.

Pouvoir faire quelque chose -> Il est possible pour quelqu’un de faire
quelque chose (possibilité)

• Must do something -> It's absolutely necessary for someone to do


something.

Devoir faire quelque chose -> C’est absolument nécessaire pour


quelqu’un de faire quelque chose. (Obligation)

• Need to do something -> It's important to do something.

Besoin de faire quelque chose -> Il est important d’accomplir quelque


chose. (Besoin ; importance)

• Have to do something -> It's absolutely necessary for someone to


do something and someone else requires it.

Devoir faire quelque chose -> Il est absolument nécessaire pour quelqu’un
d’accomplir quelque chose. (Obligation ; Promesse)

• Mustn't do something -> It's forbidden for someone to do


something.

Ne pas devoir faire quelque chose -> Il est interdit pour quelqu’un de faire
quelque chose. (Interdiction)

• Couldn't do something -> Someone is unable to do something.

Ne pas pouvoir faire quelque chose -> Quelqu’un est incapable d’accomplir
quelque chose. (Incapacité)

• Don't have to do something -> It isn't necessary for someone to


do something.
Pas obliger de faire quelque chose -> Il n’est pas nécessaire pour
quelqu’un d’accomplir quelque chose. (Pas d’obligation ; Pas
nécessaire)

• Shouldn't do something -> It isn't a good idea for someone to do


something.

Ne devrait pas faire quelque chose -> Ce n’est pas une bonne idée
pour quelqu’un de faire quelque chose. (Conseil)

• Should do something -> It's a good idea for someone to do


something.

Devrait faire quelque chose -> C’est une bonne idée pour quelqu’un de
faire quelque chose. (Possibilité)

• Might do something -> It's a possibility that someone might do


something.

Pouvoir faire quelque chose -> Il est possible que quelqu’un puisse
faire quelque chose. (Possibilité)

Modal Verb Substitute Example

must to have to I must swim. = I have to swim.

must not not to be allowed to I must not swim. = I am not allowed to swim.

(allowed= autoriser)

can to be able to I can swim. = I am able to swim.

(être capable de)

may to be allowed to I may swim. = I am allowed to swim.

need to have to I need to swim. = I have to swim.

need not not to have to I need not swim. = I don't have to swim.
shall / should/ to be supposed to / to be I shall / should / ought to swim. = I am supposed to
ought to expected to / to be to swim. / I am expected to swim. / I am to swim.

Quizz 1:

• Jack could get to work earlier.


• Jack must get to work earlier.
• Jack should get to work earlier.
• Jack needs to get to work earlier.
• Jack might get to work earlier.
• Jack has to get to work earlier.
• Jack couldn't get to work earlier.

• Jack doesn't have to get to work earlier.


• Jack mustn't get to work earlier.
• Jack shouldn't get to work earlier.

• It's absolutely necessary for Jack to get to work earlier.


• It's possible for Jack to get to work earlier.
• Jack's unable to get to work earlier.
• It isn't necessary for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It's forbidden for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It's important for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It's a good idea for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It's absolutely necessary for Jack to get to work earlier and someone forces him to do so.
• It's a good idea for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It isn't a good idea for Jack to get to work earlier.
• It's a possibility that Jack might get to work earlier.

Quizz 2:

Match the following statements with the meaning below. Check your answers on the following
answer page.

• I could work on Saturdays.


• I must work on Saturdays.
• I need to work on Saturdays.
• I have to work on Saturdays.
• I mustn't work on Saturdays.
• I couldn't work on Saturdays.
• I don't have to work on Saturdays.
• I shouldn't work on Saturdays.
• I should work on Saturdays.
• I might work on Saturdays.

• It's absolutely necessary for me to work on Saturdays.


• It's absolutely necessary for me to work on Saturdays and someone forces me to do so.
• I'm unable to work on Saturdays.
• It isn't necessary for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's possible for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's a good idea for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's important for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's a good idea for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's forbidden for me to work on Saturdays.
• It isn't a good idea for me to work on Saturdays.
• It's a possibility that I might work on Saturdays.