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    #1

    May

    I am in a class. If a teacher says "You may wear free clothes tomorrow", would that mean that you have the choice to wear free clothes whether you want to or not or does it mean you must wear free clothes?

    Thanks!

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: May

    The word "may" suggests a possibility, not an obligation. Does "free clothes" mean no uniform?

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    #3

    Re: May

    Yes.

    What about 'can'?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: May

    "Can" does not mean you must.
    "Must" means you are obligated.

    I hope you understand from Mike's reply that "free clothes" is not a phrase we use.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: May

    Same. Another possibility. No obligation.

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    #6

    Re: May

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    "Can" does not mean you must.
    "Must" means you are obligated.

    I hope you understand from Mike's reply that "free clothes" is not a phrase we use.
    So should I use 'casual clothes' or 'no uniform' next time I post something similar?

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: May

    Yes, casual clothes would be better.

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    #8

    Re: May

    Os something like You are free to wear what you want tomorrow.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: May

    Os? That is a bone.

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: May

    Quote Originally Posted by +Technist Warp- View Post
    you must wear free clothes
    If so, I think the teacher would use 'have to' instead of 'may'.

    Not a teacher.

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