List M

madam or madame? Use MADAM:
” as a polite term of respect:
Can I help you, madam?
” in letter writing:
Dear Madam (note capital letter)
” as a formal title of respect:
Thank you, Madam Speaker (note
capital letter)
Use MADAME as the French equivalent:
” We are going to Madame Tussaud’s.
” The famous French physicist, Madame
Curie, was born in Poland.
may or might? (i) Use may/might in a present context
and might in a past context:
If I receive a written invitation, I
MAY/MIGHT accept. (still possible)
If I had received a written invitation,
I MIGHT HAVE accepted. (possibility
over now)
If I don’t hurry, I MAY/MIGHT miss
the bus. (possibility exists)
If I hadn’t hurried, I MIGHT HAVE
missed the bus. (risk now over)
(ii) Convert ‘may’ to ‘might’ when
changing direct speech to indirect or
reported speech:
‘MAY I come in?’ she asked.
She asked if she MIGHT come in.
‘You MAY be lucky,’ she said.
She said that I MIGHT be lucky.
(iii) There is a slight difference between
the meaning of ‘may’ and ‘might’ in
the present tense when they are used
in the sense of ‘asking permission’:
MAY I suggest that we adjourn the
meeting? (agreement assured)
MIGHT I suggest that we adjourn the
meeting? (suggestion more tentative)
militate or mitigate? To MILITATE (against) comes from the
Latin verb meaning ‘to serve as a soldier’
and it has the combative sense of having a
powerful influence on something.
Despite his excellent qualifications, his
youthful criminal record MILITATED
against his appointment as school bursar.
To MITIGATE comes from the Latin
adjective meaning ‘mild’ and it means to
moderate, to make less severe.
Don’t condemn the young man too
harshly. There are MITIGATING
momentary or
MOMENTARY =lastingforonlya
very short time
MOMENTOUS = of great significance
moping or mopping? mope + ing = moping
mop + ing = mopping
moral or morale? Use these exemplar sentences as a guide:
Denise is guided by strong MORAL
My MORALE suffered badly when I failed
my exams and I lost all faith in myself for
mucous or mucus? MUCOUS is an adjective, as in MUCOUS
The name of the thick secretion of the
mucous membrane is called MUCUS.

Have to and must

I have to do something = it is necessary to do it, I am obliged to do it:

  • You can’t turn right here. You have to turn left.
  • I have to wear glasses for reading.
  • George can’t come out with us this evening. He has to work late.
  • Last week Tina broke her arm and had to go to hospital.
  • I haven’t had to go to the doctor for ages.

We use do/does/did in questions and negative sentences (for the present and past simple):

  • What do I have to do to get a new driving licence? (not What have I to do?)
  • Karen doesn’t have to work Saturdays, (not Karen hasn’t to)
  • Why did you have to leave early?

You can use have to with will and might/may:

  • If the pain gets worse, you’ll have to go to the doctor.
  • I might have to work late tomorrow evening, 
    I may have to work … (= it’s possible that I will have to)

Must is similar to have to:

  • It’s later than I thought. I must go.   or I have to go.

You can use must to give your own opinion
(for example, to say what you think is necessary,or to recommend someone to do something).

  • I haven’t spoken to Sue for ages. I must phone her. (= I say this is necessary)
  • Mark is a really nice person. You must meet him. (I recommend this)

We use have to (not must) to say what someone is obliged to do. The speaker is not giving his/her own opinion:

  • I have to work from 8.30 to 5.30 every day. (a fact, not an opinion)
  • Jane has to travel a lot for her work.

But must is often used in written rules and instructions:

  • Applications for the job must be received by 18 May.
  • (exam instruction) You must write your answers in ink.

You cannot use must to talk about the past:

  • We had to leave early, (not we must)

Mustn’t and don’t have to are completely different:

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)
  • I promised I would be on time.
  • I mustn’t be late. (= I must be on time)

You don’t have to do something = you don’t need to do it (but you can if you want):

  • You don’t have to tell him, but you can if you want to.
  • I don’t have to be at the meeting, but I think I’ll go anyway.

You can use have got to instead of have to. So you can say:

  • I’ve got to work tomorrow.      
    I have to work tomorrow.
  • When has Liz got to go? 
    When does Liz have to go?

Make and do

This unit deals with make and do, two verbs that many learners have problems with. If you remember that the basic meaning of make is about producing something and the basic meaning of do is about performing an action, then the collocations on this page may seem more logical.

collocation example
make arrangements for The school can make arrangements for pupils with special needs.
make a change / changes The new manager is planning to make some changes.
make a choice Jill had to make a choice between her career and her family.
make a comment / comments Would anyone like to make any comments on the talk?
make a contribution to She made a useful contribution to the discussion.
make a decision I’m glad it’s you who has to make the decision, not me.
make an effort Joe is really making an effort with his maths this term.
make an excuse I’m too tired to go out tonight. Let’s make an excuse and stay at home.
make friends Karen is very good at making friends.
make an improvement Repainting the room has really made an improvement.
make a mistake They’ve made a mistake in our bill.
make a phone call I’ve got to make some phone calls before dinner.
make progress Harriet is making progress with all her schoolwork.
collocation example
do your best All that matters in the exam is to do your best.
do damage The storm did some damage to our roof.
do an experiment We are doing an experiment to test how the metal reacts with water.
do exercises We’ll do some exercises practicing these collocations tomorrow.
do someone a good turn / do someone a favour Scouts and guides are supposed to do someone a good turn every day.
do harm Changing the rules may do more harm than good.
do your hair No, I’m not ready. 1 haven’t done my hair yet.
do your homework My son has to do his homework straight after school.
do the ironing/shopping/ washing, etc. I’ll do the washing if you do the ironing.
do some work We’ll do some work on our project and then we’ll go to the cinema.