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Il verbo modale must

Must è il verbo modale usato per esprimere dovere, obbligo o necessità. Proprio come tutti gli altri verbi modali, must si usa sempre seguito da un altro verbo all’infinito e non vuole il complemento oggetto. Inoltre, must è un verbo invariabile, cioè non prende la -s alla terza persona singolare del presente.

 

They eat now barely without a break [sic]. They must gain enough fat for the winter.

Ora mangiano quasi senza sosta. Devono mettere su abbastanza grasso per l'inverno.

Captions 4-5, The Last Paradises The Alps - Realm of the Golden Eagle - Part 9

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We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union.

Dobbiamo ora prepararci per una negoziazione con l'Unione Europea.

Caption 22, Brexit David Cameron resigns as UK votes to leave

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Nelle frasi interrogative e negative, must segue le stesse regole del verbo to be, cioè va posto davanti al soggetto nelle domande ed è seguito da not nelle frasi negative. Non richiede dunque l'uso dell'ausiliare do.

 

But we must not blame the rainforest countries for this.

Ma non dobbiamo incolpare i paesi in cui si trovano le foreste pluviali per questo.

Caption 33, The Prince's Rainforests Project Prince of Wales' Introduction

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Le domande con must si usano in modo enfatico (devo /devi proprio...?) e possono suonare come un rimprovero o esprimere riluttanza per un'azione che viene compiuta a malincuore.

Must they keep talking?

Devono proprio continuare a parlare?

 

Must I really get up at five?

Devo proprio alzarmi alle cinque?

 

Esprimere un obbligo con must

Must si usa in particolare per esprimere un obbligo imposto da chi parla (You must...), o sentito personalmente come un dovere (I must...):

 

So, you must tailor your cover letter to the job description.

Quindi, dovete adattare la vostra lettera di presentazione alla descrizione del lavoro.

Caption 19, Business English Cover letter - Part 2

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I know I must tell the truth.

So che devo dire la verità.

 

Dare un consiglio con must

Possiamo usare must per dare un consiglio e per raccomandare fortemente qualcosa:

 

If you ever come to London for the first time, one place you must visit is Piccadilly Circus.

Se mai verrete a Londra per la prima volta, un posto che dovete visitare è Piccadilly Circus.

Captions 2-3, In London with Lauren Piccadilly Circus

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Vietare qualcosa con must

Per dire che qualcosa è proibito o fortemente sconsigliato usiamo must alla forma negativa:

You mustn't copy during the test.

Non dovete copiare durante il test. 

 

Supporre qualcosa con must

Possiamo usare must per fare una supposizione o una deduzione logica basata su fatti presenti (must + forma base):

 

Marissa Heller, she must be the woman who lived here before us.

Marissa Heller, deve essere la donna che viveva qui prima di noi.

Caption 18, How I Met Your Mother Douche-pocalypse

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oppure su fatti passati (must + have + participio passato), come nel caso di questo esempio in cui Jimmy Carter racconta la scena di una sparatoria descritta in un libro:

 

That must have been a terrible experience.

Quella deve essere stata un'esperienza terribile.

Caption 43, Ask Jimmy Carter Interview with former US president Jimmy Carter

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Le supposizioni possono avere vari gradi di certezza a seconda del modale con il quale vengono espresse. Confrontate ciò che si potrebbe dire mentre si cerca un oggetto:

It must be here! (I'm sure it's here) Deve essere qui!

It should be here. (It's likely to be here) Dovrebbe essere qui.

It may / might be here. (Perhaps it's here) Può darsi che sia qui. 

It can't be here! (I'm sure it's not here) Non può essere qui!

 

E adesso... esercizi! 

Completate le frasi con must / must not e la forma base dei seguenti verbi: to hold, to walk, to drive, to cross, to wear, to wait.

 

1. People ............... on the left in Britain.

2. You ............... the road at the zebra crossing.

3. You ............... on the grass.

4. People ............... until the traffic lights are green before crossing.

5. Everybody ............... a seat-belt when travelling by car.

6. You ............... the steering wheel with only one hand.

 

Completa queste deduzioni, distinguendo quelle al presente e quelle al passato.

 

1. It (be) .......... five o' clock. Everyone's leaving the office.

2. Look at that man with all the money! He (win) .......... the lottery.

3. This bag looks very expensive. It (cost) .......... at least $5,000.

4. The car has stopped. I (forget) .......... to fill it up.

5. They are freezing. They (wait) .......... for the bus for a long time.

6. She (have) .......... new friends. She goes out every night.

Le soluzioni le trovate qui.

Grammatica

Winter Vacation and the Holidays

As we approach the end of December, many people are looking forward to having some time off. The “holiday break," “Christmas break,” or "winter vacation" observed by schools gives students up to two weeks off. Universities may have closer to a month of time off. Workplaces and offices close as well, although not for so long!

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

It is a time to relax and a time to spend with family and friends. If the weather outside is cold, there are some classic outdoor activities that people enjoy, although you may decide to simply stay nice and warm indoors.

 

And nowadays Rose and I do down-hill skiing primarily.

Caption 73, Ask Jimmy Carter - Interview with former US president Jimmy Carter

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She could only rest in a corner next to the fireplace,

Caption 11, Yabla Fairy Tales - Cinderella - Part 1

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Many families take time to do activities like baking or cooking together, and also decorate to their homes.

 

And what's your favorite part of the Christmas dinner?

Caption 13, Christmas in London - People

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But, up until that point we decorate our houses with lots of different things.

Caption 6, Christmas traditions - in the UK

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Many people are also preparing for the holidays and the tradition of exchanging presents:

 

I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards.

Caption 13, A Charlie Brown Christmas - Opening

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...and then unwrap our presents and all the family will be there.

Caption 12, Christmas in London - People

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Of course, the holidays can be stressful, especially if you are late with the preparations!

 

So they're looking for their last-minute presents for their loved ones.

Caption 3, Christmas in London - People

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Our Yabla English team wishes you a lovely winter break and holiday season, filled with relaxation and the warm company of family and friends!

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

Further Learning
Go to the links listed above, or do your own search for Yabla English videos that reference holiday traditions. Another idea: look up the English words for the presents you are giving people this year if you don’t know them already.

 

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