You Mustn’t Miss This! - Warning & Forbidding

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “You Mustn’t Miss This!” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Warning &Forbidding quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

You will need to understand some warning & forbidding terms. Sometimes we need to use language (English, or any other) to tell or ask someone NOT to do something, for whatever reason. How good are you at 'applying the brakes' to other people's plans? Find out with by playing this ‘Warning & Forbidding’ quiz!

You mustn't miss this chance to practise!

  1. A well-meaning English host (or hostess) is about to put milk or sugar ~ which you do not want ~ into your tea; what do you say?
    Answer 4 is probably the clearest way of doing this; Answer 1 is a possible alternative. Answers 2 and 3 are not particularly good.
  2. Someone is disturbing you, without realising it, by making a small but repeated noise (e.g. tapping a teaspoon on the other side of a table, where you are trying to read or study). What do you say, to encourage them to stop doing this?
    Answer 4 is the softest, yet clearest way of drawing attention to the problem. Most of the others somehow sound a bit irritable (as well they might, in the situation; but it is better to calm things down!).
  3. In a tense, criminal situation ~ real, or in fiction ~ such as an armed robbery, the last words that someone under threat might say could be :
    This would hardly be a time for extra words and fine expressions!
  4. Pick the answer which best completes the gap/s in good, clear, accurate English.
    'In my country, women ... ... drive cars, drink alcohol or vote in elections.'
    Each of these clearly conveys a similar meaning, but No.1 is the best way of expressing the plain fact; 'not allowed' presumably means 'forbidden by the authorities (government and/or religious custom, etc.)'.
  5. In a social situation, you are embarrassed by someone 'making a great fuss' over thanking you for something (e.g. a small ornament that you have given them, from your home country, as a 'thank you' for their own help or hospitality). How do you best tell them that you have had enough of their thanks?
    Most of these Answers are quite good, but No.4 is the most specific (if you can manage it), and deflects the thanks back onto these other people, where you feel this truly belongs.
  6. Travelling with your English hosts into the city, you spot a road-sign that forbids parking ~ just where they are about to park the car. You may not be confident about the rights and wrongs of this, in what (for you) is a foreign country; but you feel you should say something, rather than letting them get into trouble over the parking. What can you say?
    If you use No.3, it suggests that you may be mistaken. (There could, for instance, be another sign which you didn't see, or couldn't understand, giving details about parking only being forbidden at certain times, e.g. during weekdays and business hours.)
    The other suggestions are potentially rather rude, as they call your host's judgement (and even vision, in No.4!) into question.
  7. If the parking sign is outside someone's private house, rather than an 'official notice', what would it probably say?
    This is polite and clear. Most people would prefer to keep such a sign simple: not too many words, so it needn't be too big (and so that it does not make the front of their property look ugly and official!).
  8. You are trying really hard to persuade an English friend, or business associate, to come and visit your home country. Which of these is the 'toughest' expression that you feel you could use?
    Answers 1 and 2 may happen to 'feel true' but they come over as much too strong in English. Answer 4 is probably marginally better than No.3, because it comes out on a positive note.
  9. When one English person quite casually asks another, 'How's life?' (etc.) and the answer comes, '[I] can't complain / mustn't grumble', what do you think the second speaker really means?
    'Mustn't grumble' is a short way of saying that we all have good and bad days, but it is unhelpful to bother someone else with one's problems. This is an example of the famous 'stiff upper lip' of the unemotional Brits, who supposedly prefer to 'keep clam and carry on'.
  10. Sadly, in many town and city centres at the weekend, large numbers of young people seem to go and drink a lot of alcohol, and then 'disgrace themselves in public' (by being sick all over the street, getting into trouble with the police, etc.). A more traditional British attitude to such behaviour might typically be:
    Of course the behaviour is unhelpful (and unhygienic), but the strongest way to suggest that it be stopped is probably by reference to the Law (i.e. 'it isn't allowed; you mustn't do it').

Author: Ian Miles

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