MODALS ABILITY

CAN / CAN’T (present) COULD / COULDN’T (past) WILL BE ABLE TO / WON’T BE ABLE (future) MUST (present) + rules and laws + talk about something the speaker feels necessary. HAVE TO + rules and laws + talk about obligation imposed on the speaker by others or circunstance. SHOULD SHOULDN’T MUSTN’T DON’T HAVE TO / DOESN’T HAVE TO COULD MAY / MAY NOT MIGHT / MIGHT NOT MUST CAN’T John can play tennis. My daughter could play the clarinet when she was nine. After lots of practice, I will be able to play the piano.

OBLIGATION

You must wear a seatbelt I must write a letter to my grandparents.

All passengers have to wear a seat belt I have to read this book if I want to pass the exam. You look really ill. You should stay in bed for a few days. Children shouldn’t play here. You mustn’t drink and drive. You mustn’t smoke in the restaurant. You don’t have to wash the dishes now. Someone’s coming. It could be Sally. Many people may not return alive It’s sunny. It might be warm outside. He’s got a broken leg. That must be painful. This can’t be Mary’s car. She hasn’t got a driving licence.

ADVICE PROHIBITION
NO OBLIGATION

POSSIBILITY CERTAINTY