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Thread: Modals

    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 6


    We are always told by our teachers that we should use (have to) when we report decisions taken by people other than us for example:
    1.A teacher to his student: " You should arrive on time"
    1.The teacher says I have to be on time.

    But what if I am reporting the exact words (reported speech)?
    I mean can't I say:
    1.The teacher says I must arrive on time.
    Isn't the last sentence correct?

  1. Editor,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
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      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 60,232

    Re: Modals

    I think they're different:
    1 The teacher says I should be on time. (advice)
    2 The teacher says I must be on time. (their order)
    3 The teacher says I have to be on time. (order of the institution)
    2 & 3 can be used with a similar meaning- it depends on how they say it as to where the authority comes from.

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