10. You mustn't drive so fast!
Modal Verbs II

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Modal verbs: Would, Should, Must

An easy way to remember these three modal verbs is by placing them on a scale of intensity:

Would

We use the modal would:

I would like a coffee.
You would go for a picnic, but the weather is bad.
He would help you gladly.

I would not (wouldn't) like a coffee.
You would not (wouldn't) go for a picnic.
He would not (wouldn't) help you.

Would you like a coffee?
Would you go for a picnic?
Would he help me?

The structure containing the word would is translated to Romanian using condiționalul optativ: (nu) mi-ar plăcea(?), (nu) te-ai duce(?), (nu) te-ar ajuta(?).

Would is also used to form the Second Conditional. We will learn this structure at level Advanced.

Should

We use the modal should:

You should take your umbrella – it is cloudy outside.
We should study harder for this exam.
They should talk to Martin about this.

You should not (shouldn't) walk in the rain without an umbrella.
We should not (shouldn't) waste any time.
They should not (shouldn't) forget to tell Martin about this.

Should I call you tomorrow?
Should she bring her bicycle?
Should we visit them today?

The structure containing the word should is translated to Romanian using the structure ar trebui să.

Must

We use the modal must:

You must wear a seatbelt when you travel by car.
The doctor said I must stay indoors for one week.
We must finish this project by tomorrow.

You must not (mustn't) cross the street when the light is red.
You must not (mustn't) take a shower.
They must not (mustn't) be late.

Must I stay in bed?

The structure containing the word must is translated to Romanian using the structure trebuie să.

Surprise!

The modal must has an equivalent: (to) have to.

You have to wear a seatbelt when you travel by car.
I have to stay indoors for one week.

This equivalent is especially useful when we refer to necessity/obligation in the past. The modal must does not have a past form, so we replace it with its equivalent.

I had to stay indoors for one week when I was ill.