Bulats language functions – expressing obligation

Learn the use of various language functions for English grammar

Language Functions refer to the different situations where we use language. Often, the meaning of expressions we use is not easy to understand from the words of the sentence. For example, a person could say ‘I see what you mean but …’ and the meaning of the sentence is ‘I understand what you are saying but my opinion is different.’

In BULATS, your knowledge of Language Functions will be tested. You will see examples of Language Functions in the Reading texts and you will hear people use them in the Listening audios. They are also important in the Writing Test and the Speaking Test. If you can understand the different nuances of meaning, you will improve your score.

This exercise will give you examples of typical expressions that are used to express obligation, prohibition and to give warnings effectively.

Expressing Prohibition


You can’t (park your car) here.

Don’t (park your car) here.

No (parking) here.

You mustn’t (park your car) here.

You aren’t allowed to (park your car) here.

(Parking your car here) is prohibited.

(Parking your car here) is banned.

You can’t (park your car here) without permission.

Never (park your car) here.

There’s a rule against (parking your car) here.


You aren’t supposed to (park your car) here.

You can’t (park your car) here under any circumstances.

(Parking your car here) has been banned.

(Parking your car here) isn’t permitted.

(Parking your car here) used to be allowed, but…

Whatever you do, don’t (park your car here).


You are prohibited from (parking your car here).

No unauthorised (parking).

This isn’t the right place for (parking).

Don’t you dare (park your car here).

Don’t even think about (parking your car here).

Under no circumstances are you to (park your car here).

(Parking your car here) is not the kind of thing which is allowed here.

You would need special permission to (park your car) here.

As a rule, we don’t allow (parking) here.

You don’t have permission to (park your car here).

Any (parking) here will lead to prosecution.

(Parking) is restricted to (staff only).

The punishment for (parking here) is ($50).



You must (go to see the dentist).

You have to (go to see the dentist).

You really must (go to see the dentist).

You really have to (go to see the dentist).


You have got to (go to see the dentist).

It’s necessary to (go to see the dentist).

You’ll have to (go to see the dentist).


You really ought to (go to see the dentist) (formal).

You should (go to see the dentist) (recommendation).

The university requires all students to (register for their exams).

Giving warnings


Don’t (park here).

Don’t (park here), it’s too dangerous.


Watch out! It’s dangerous to (park) here.

Be careful, this is not a good place to (park).

Don’t (park here), (your car could be stolen).


(Park in the other car park) otherwise you will have problems.

Whatever you do, don’t (park here).

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