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    #1

    must

    Hi Teachers!

    Is must usually used with the meaning of strong advice? I know that must means necessity and obligation, but is this modal used to give a strong advice or shall I use the modals should / ought to for strong advice?

    What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences:

    You must stop smoking.
    You should not smoke.
    You ought not smoke.

    Are there particular differences between these sentences?

    BTW: Should I use among instead of between in the upper sentence?

    Thank you very much in advance.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: must

    It carries the connotation that it is necessary or important that something is done or happens. Strong advice is a good way to express this.

    Should/ought do not carry this connotation. They imply it would be better not to do something.

    ["between" is fine]


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
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    #3

    Re: must

    Quote Originally Posted by Teia View Post
    Hi Teachers!

    Is must usually used with the meaning of strong advice? I know that must means necessity and obligation, but is this modal used to give a strong advice or shall I use the modals should / ought to for strong advice?

    What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences:

    You must stop smoking.
    You should not smoke.
    You ought not smoke.

    Are there particular differences between these sentences?

    Hello Teia.

    The difference that exists between epistemic 'must' and 'should/ought to' in a scalar sense is the same difference that exists for the deontic uses.

    90-99 % That must be how it's done. [epistemic certainty]

    51- 89% The result should be ... . [epistemic certainty]

    'should/ought to' covers a large area. With deontic uses, they don't really relate in the same way to "levels" of certainty that epistemic modals do, but the deontic meanings do derive their "strength" from their epistemic meanings.

    We can strengthen any of these modals/semi-modals by adding 'really' or 'definitely'.

    You really/definitely must stop smoking.
    You really/definitely should stop smoking.
    You really/definitely ought to stop smoking.

    There are even weaker deontic forms;

    You may want to quit/consider quitting smoking.

    You might want to quit/consider quitting smoking.

    #$%

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    #4

    Re: must

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    #$%
    Hi Riverkid!

    Thank you very much for clarifying that.

    • Member Info
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    #5

    Re: must

    Hi Anglika!

    Thank you very much for your help.

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