General English Level 5 V 3
UNIT 03 Be careful! TOPIC 03 Be prepared
LANGUAGE FOCUS 04 Negative modals
 
The pamphlet says:
Men shouldn't carry their wallets in the back pocket of their trousers.
… you mustn't forget the appearance of the mugger.

Should and must are modals. We can make negative modals by adding not after the modal.

You must not park here.
should not forget the details.
I will
She would not stop screaming.
He might not attack you.



In spoken English, we often shorten not to n't.

Example

Men should not carry their wallets in the back pocket of their trousers. =
Men shouldn't carry their wallets in the back pocket of their trousers.

could not
couldn't
should not
shouldn't
would not
wouldn't
must not
mustn't

These modals have irregular short forms.

shall not
shan't
will not
won't
cannot
can't

Examples

1 Read the examples.
2 Listen to the examples.
3 Practise saying each example. Use the Pause button.
I can't stop thinking about the mugging.
He didn't know any first aid, so he couldn't help the victim.
She won't talk about what happened, as it's too upsetting.
She might not have been mugged if she had been more careful.
I shall never forget the accident.

 

Now go to 05 WRITING Negative modals.

 

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