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English Grammar in Use – Unit 32: “Must, Mustn’t, Needn’t”

Part A:

Must and mustn’t
You must do something= it is necessary that you do it:
Don’t tell anybody what I said. You must keep it a secret.
We haven’t got much time. We must hurry.
You mustn’t do something= it is necessary that you do not do it (so don’t do it):
You must keep it a secret. You mustn’t tell anyone. (=don’t tell anyone)
We must be very quiet. We mustn’t make any noise.

Part B:

Needn’t and don’t need to
You needn’t do something= it’s not necessary to do it (but you can if you like):
We’ve got plenty of time. We needn’t hurry. (=it is not necessary to hurry)
Joe can stay here. He needn’t come with us. (=it is not necessary for him to come)
You can also use don’t/doesn’t need to = We don’t need to hurry.
Remember that we say don’t need to do I doesn’t need to do, but needn’t do (without to).

Part C:

Needn’t have (done)

Study this example situation.

Hello, can I reserve a table for two, please?

We needn’t have reserved a table.

Paul and Sue decided to go to a restaurant. They reserved a table. But the restaurant was almost empty. So they needn’t have reserved a table. They needn’t have reserved a table. =They reserved a table, but this was not necessary.

Compare needn’t (do) and needn’t have (done):
Everything will be OK. You needn’t worry. (it is not necessary)
Everything was OK. You needn’t have worried. (you worried, but it was not necessary)

Part D:

Needn’t have (done) and didn’t need to (do)
He needn’t have done something= he did it, but now we know that it was not necessary:
Why did he get up at 5 o’clock? He needn’t have got up so early. He could have stayed in bed longer.
He didn’t need to do something = it was not necessary to do it. It doesn’t matter whether he did it or not:
He didn’t need to get up early, so he didn’t.
He didn’t need to get up early, but it was a beautiful morning, so he did.
He didn’t have to … is also possible in these examples.

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sasan 8 hours, 28 minutes ago.

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  • #40593

    Dr. Hariri

    Would you rather be happy yet slow-witted and unimaginative, or unhappy yet bright and creative? For instance, would you rather live the life of a brilliant yet tortured artist, such as Vincent van Gogh, or that of a happy but carefree soul who is a bit simple-minded?

  • #40672


    I prefer to challenge this question at first and bring up my viewpoint next.
    There are different successful people in the world who reached the apex through different procedures. Although some have faced torture to reach their goals, it does not mean we have to necessarily lose something in our life to climb the ladder of success. Anyway, I suppose the most enjoyable part of life is making progress and relying on your abilities to flourish and thrive. So, I personally go for intelligence and innovation rather than happiness along with naivety. Many people have lived an ordinary life so far and repeating this story can never excite me at all. We need to gain new adventurous experiences and foster our abilities so as to break out of comfort zone.

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