May, Might, Used To, Ought to, Must, Need, Dare - English grammar | Part- 2

May, Might, Used To, Ought to, Must, Need, Dare - English grammar | Part- 2
(7) Use of ‘May’
1. To grant or seek permission formally. ‘May’ is more formal and polite than ‘can’.
For Example : You may leave now.
May I come in, Sir?
2. To express a wish (benediction or malediction)
For Example : May God bless you!
May God curse you!
3. To express a factual possibility:
For Example : The road may be blocked today due to the procession.
They have started and may arrive here any moment.
It is cloudy today. It may rain.
Important Note : ‘Can’ indicates a theoretical possibility whereas ‘may’
indicates a factual possibility.
For Example : During monsoon, it can rain any time. (theoretical possibility)
The sky is overcast, it may rain today. (factual possibility)
3. To express a purpose in a subordinate clause:
For Example : He is building his body so that he may join the army.
He is working hard so that he may pass with good marks.

(8) Use of ‘Might’
1. To express the past tense of ‘may’:
For Example : He thought he might play a useful role.
She asked if she might read my book.
2. To express a remote possibility. (Present Time)
For Example : It might rain today. (Less certain)
Note : [‘Might’ indicates remote possibility as compared to ‘May’ and ‘Can’]
3. To express a possibility in a conditional sentence:
For Example : Had I not taken a taxi, I might have missed the train.
Had she worked hard, she might have won the competition.
4. To express some purpose in the past tense:
For Example : She worked hard so that she might pass.
She ran fast so that she might catch the bus.

Exercise 4 (Solved)
Fill in the blanks with ‘may’ or ‘might’:
1. _______ I go home now?
2. She asked if she _______ read my book.
3. We eat that we _______ live.
4. _______ God bless you!
5. It _______ rain today. (weak possibility)
6. You _______ have won the race if you had taken an early start.
7. If you apologise, he _______ forgive you.
8. She _______ have applied for a job, but I am not sure.
9. _______ his soul rest in peace!
10. He is working hard so that he _______ stand first in the class.
Answers : 1. May 2. might 3. may 4. May 5. might 6. might 7. may 8. might 9. May 10. may

(9) Use of ‘Used to’
1. To express a discontinued habit or a past situation which contrasts with the present:
For Example : He used to go out for a walk every morning.
As a child, she used to love dolls.
She used to drink milk; now she takes tea.
Note: [‘Used to’ is always used in the past form. It does not have a present
form. The present tense of ‘I used to work in Delhi.’ is not’ Now I use to
work in Kolkata. It is, ‘Now, I work in Kolkata.’]
2. ‘Used to’ means ‘be accustomed to’ or ‘be familiar with’. This form of ‘used to’ can refer to the past as well as present.
For Example : He is quite used to hard work.
He was a salesman, so he was used to travelling up and down the country.
[We can also use ‘get used to’ to refer to future time. University is different from school, but don’t worry, you will soon get used to it.]
3. ‘Used to’ (not would) can also describe a state or situation that existed in the past and is no longer true.
For Example : There would be a park where there is a shopping complex now. (Incorrect)
There used to be a park where there is a shopping complex now. (Correct)
We would live in Allahabad. (Incorrect)
We used to live in Allahabad. (Correct)
Note : [We can use ‘used to’ and ‘would’ to talk about past habits. When
we use both of them together, ‘used to’ most commonly comes first, as it
sets the scene for the actions being reported:
When we were kids, we used to invent crazy games. We would imagine
we were the government and we would make crazy laws.]

(10) Use of ‘Ought to’
1. To express duty/necessity/ obligation/advice in the same way as ‘should’
For Examples : ought to go now.
You ought to take medicine regularly.
We ought to serve our country.
We ought to love our neighbours.
You ought not to have disobeyed your parents.
You ought not to have misbehaved with your friend.
Note : [Should expresses subjective opinion i.e. ‘what I think is best for you to do’.]
For Example : You should call your mother more often. You should apologies before she loses heart due to your misconduct.
‘Ought to’ expresses objective truth i.e. what is necessary, and cannot be avoided. That’s why we use ‘ought to’ when we are talking about laws, duties and regulations.
For Example : They ought to follow the school’s policies, or they will be expelled.
2. The past tense of ‘ought to’ is expressed with ‘ought to have’ + 3rd form of the verb:
For Example : He ought to have attended the meeting.
She ought to have helped you.
Important Note : ‘Ought to’ expresses more moral obligation than ‘should’. ‘Must’ expresses more compulsion but less moral obligation than ‘ought to’.

Exercise 5 Solved
Fill in the blanks with ‘used to’ or ‘ought to’:
1. We _______ serve our country.
2. My grandmother _______ tell me stories.
3. You _______ change your job.
4. I am not _______ driving alone.
5. I _______ visit my sick brother.
6. We _______ obey the laws of our country.
7. They _______ miss their classes to watch a movie.
8. The students _______ be regular and punctual.
9. The employees _______ come late, but now they have become punctual.
Answers : 1. ought to 2. used to 3. ought to 4. used to 5. ought to
6. ought to 7. used to 8. ought to 9. used to

(11) Use of ‘Must’
1. To express compulsion, obligation, necessity, duty, advice:
For Example : You must attend the class. (compulsion)
We must respect our elders. (obligation)
You must serve your country. (duty)
A subordinate must obey his boss. (necessity)
You must wear a helmet. (advice)
2. To signify determination:
For Example : must top the list this time.
must get a seat this time.
3. To express a guess, or an inference from circumstances, or a feeling of strong likelihood:
For Example : Someone is knocking at the door. It must be the postman.
The Principal must be in the office; the light is on.
4. To express inevitability/threat:
For Example : You must be punished for your sins.
He must be suspended from his job for his careless attitude.
We all must die.
5. To express some strong possibility:
For Example : She must have reached Mumbai by now.

(12) Use of ‘Need’
1. As a regular verb, ‘need’ means ‘require’ or ‘be in need of’ and forms all the tenses in a regular way:
For Example : He needs some money.
He needed some money.
I don’t need your advice.
2. As a Modal Auxiliary, ‘need’ is used to express necessity/obligation in Negative or Interrogative Sentences. (Used in Present Tense)
For Example : He need not go there again.
She need not worry for her test.
Need I stay here?
No, you need not stay here.
Note : [Need questions generally get a negative reply.]

(13) Use of ‘Dare’
1. To express ‘courage’ or ‘venture’
For Example : He dare not oppose me.
How dare you insult me?
He dare not face me.
Important Note : We can say: I dare not do it.
But we can’t say: I dare do it.
2. The Past Tense of ‘dare’ is daren’t have + 3rd form of verb.
3. Dare is used as a lexical verb in all tenses with ‘to’ in order to express courage/challenge:
For Example : He dares to speak the truth.
She does not dare to offend you.
4. Dare as a lexical verb may mean challenge/face boldly:
For Example : He dared me to a combat.
She will dare any situation bravely.

Exercise 6 (Solved)
Fill in the blanks with ‘must’, ‘dare’ or ‘need’:
1. The candidates _______ answer five out of ten questions.
2. How _______ you touch my things.
3. I _______ finish this work by Monday.
4. _______ I go to school today?
5. He _______ not oppose me.
6. You _______ not wait for him.
7. Does she _______ to argue with you?
8. You _______ not go to the market as I have brought vegetables.
9. _______ you have taken all this trouble?
10. You _______ be joking.
Answers : 1. must 2. dare 3. must 4. Need 5. dare 6. need 7. dare 8. need 9. Need 10. must



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