A Short Story for the Modal Verb MUST:
Time for Lunch

This story is part of the English Modal Verbs Series
All the modal verbs are in bold.


The modal verb must is used to show obligation. If you say “I must do this,” it means that “it is necessary for me to do this.”

We also use must when we feel sure something is true. This is called deduction. “Deduction” is when we make a logical conclusion based on facts that we can see.

For example: I know that Rick leaves work at 5pm. Right now it is 5:15pm. Logically, Rick is on his way home now. So, I can say: "It’s 5:15pm, so Rick must be on his way home now." In this example, we come to a logical conclusion (a deduction) based on the time and Rick’s daily schedule.

Short Story:

Two businessmen, Michael and Dennis, are at a lunch meeting. They are waiting for their co-worker, Terry, who is late.

“We must wait for Terry before we start,” says Michael. “Is he here yet?”

“No, he must be on his way,” replies Dennis.

“Yes, he said he left the office 30 minutes ago,” says Michael. “He must be about to arrive.”

“Traffic must be bad, because it usually doesn’t take this long,” Dennis says.

Michael looks at his watch. “He must feel badly about being late,” he says. “I know he hates to be kept waiting, so he doesn’t like to do it to other people.”

“Oh, that’s all right! We mustn’t get impatient, don’t you think?” Dennis smiles. “Remember his rule: the one who is late must buy lunch!”

This story is part of the English Modal Verbs Series.
To get all the stories and exercises in this series, click here.