We use CAN to say that something is possible or that somebody has the ability to do sth.
( Koristimo CAN   kako bismo iskazali da je nešto moguće ili da neko ima mogućnost da uradi nešto.)

COULD– 1. use especially with see, hear,smell,taste,feel, remember,understand.
(COULD- 1. koristi se naročite uz glagole see, hear, smell, taste, feel , remember, understand).

  • When we went into the house, we could smell burning.
    ( Kada smo ušli u kuću, mogli smo da nanjušimo
  • She spoke ina a very low voice, but I could understand what she said.
    ( Govorila je veoma tiho, ali sam razumeo šta je rekla.)
  1. use to say that somebody had the general ability or permission to do sth.
    2. koristi se radi iskazivanja opšte sposobnosti  ili dozvole da se uradi nešto.

    • My grandfather could speak several languages.
      ( Moj otac je mogao govoriti nekoliko jezika.)
      We were completely free. We could do what we wanted ( we were allowed to do..)
      ( Bili smo potpuno slobodni. Mogli smo raditi šta smo želeli ( bilo nam je dozvoljeno da radimo..)
  1. we use could for general ability. But, if we are talking about what happened in a particular situation we use was/were able to ..or managed to… ( not could ).
    ( koristimo could za izražavanje opšte sposobnosti. međutim, ako pričamo o tome šta se desilo u određenoj situaciji koristimo was/were able to ..ili  managed to… ( ne could )).
  • The fire spread through the building quickly but everybody was able to escape or everybody managed to escape.
  • They didn’t want to come with us at first but we managed to persuade them or we were able to persuade them ( not could persuade )

Compare: (Uporedite):

  • Jack was an excellent tennis player. He could beat anybody.

( =he had the general ability to beat anybody)
( =imao je sposobnost da bilo koga pobedi)

but (ali)

  • Jack and Alf had a game of tennis yesterday. Alf played very well but in the end Jack managed to beat him or was able to beat him. = ( he managed to beat him in this particular game )
    =( uspeo je da ga pobedi u određenoj igri)

COULDN’T is possible in all situations.
(COULDN’T je moguće u svim situacijama.)


COULD– 1. to talk about possible actions now or in the future ( esp. to make a suggestion.) CAN is also possible but you must use could not can when you don’t really mean what you say.
(COULD -1. pričanje o mogućim radnjama u sadašnjosti ili budućnosti ( posebno radi sugerisanja). CAN je takođe moguće, ali morate koristiti could a ne can, kada ne mislite zaista ono što govorite).

  • I’m so angry with him. I could kill him! ( not: ‘I can kill him’)
    ( Toliko sam ljuta na njega. Mogla bih ga ubiti! ( ne: ‘Mogu ga ubiti’)
  1. to say that sth is possible now or in the future.
    ( radi iskazivanja da je nešto moguće sada ili u budućnosti.)
  • The phone is ringing. It could be Tim. ( Telefon zvoni. Možda je Tim).
  • I don’t know when they’ll be here. They could arrive at any time.
    ( Ne znam kada će biti ovde. Mogu stići bilo kada.)

Can is not possible in these examples ( not it can be Tim). In these sentences could is similar to might.
(Can nije moguć u ovim primerima ( ne može ‘ It can be Tim’ .)U ovim rečenicama could je sličan sa might.)

  • The phone is ringing. It might be Tim.



    • I’m so tired. I could sleep for a week. ( now)



    • I was so tired. I could have slept for a week. (past)

Could have ( done) –for things which were possible but didn’t happen.

MUST– to say that we feel sure sth is true:

    • You’ve been travelling all day. You must be tired. (Travelling is tiring and you’ve been travelling all day, so you must be tired)

CAN’T –to say that we feel sure sth is not possible.

    • You just had lunch. You can’t be hungry already. ( People are not normally hungry just after eating a meal- You’ve just eaten, so you can’t be hungry. )


For the past we use MUST HAVE (DONE) and CAN’T HAVE (DONE).
( Za prošlost koristimo  MUST HAVE (DONE) i CAN’T HAVE (DONE).)

    • George is outside his friend’s house. He has rung the doorbell three times but nobody has answered. They must have gone out.


Use may/might to say that sth is a possibility.

    • It may be true or it might be true. ( perhaps it’s true )


    • It may not be true. ( perhaps it isn’t true) ( verovatno nije tačno)
    • I’m not sure whether I can lend you any money. I may not have enough. (perhaps I don’t have enough) ( verovatno nemam dovoljno)

Sometimes COULD has a similar meaning to MAY/MIGHT
(Ponekad     COULD ima slično značenje kao MAY/MIGHT)

  • The phone’s ringing. It could be Tim ( it may/might be Tim )

but COULDN’T is different from MAY NOT and MIGHT NOT
( ali se COULDN’T razlikuje od MAY NOT ili MIGHT NOT )

  • She was too far away, so she couldn’t have seen you. ( it’s not possible that she saw you ).
    (nije mogla da te vidi)
  • I wonder why she didn’t say hello. She might not have seen you ( perhaps she didn’t see you)
    (verovatno te nije videla)

MAY/ MIGHTto talk about possible actions or happenings in the future.
( – radi izražavanja mogućih radnji ili događaja u budućnosti. )

  • I haven’t decided yet where to spend my holidays. I may go to Ireland. (perhaps I will go to Ireland) ( Verovatno ću ići u Irsku)

Ususally it doesn’t matter whether you use may/might ( Obično nema veze da li koristite may/might) – I may/might go to Ireland. Use might not may when the situation is not real. ( Koristite might, ne may, kada situacija nije realna.)

  • If I knew them better, I might invite them to dinner. ( The situation here is not real because I don’t know them very well, so I’m not going to invite them. May is not possible) ( Ovde situacija nije realna jer ih ne poznajem dovoljno dobro, tako da ih neću pozvati. May nije moguće ovde)


Compare: (Uporedite:)

  • Don’t phone me at 8.30. I’ll be watching the football on TV.
  • Don’t phone at 8.30. I might be watching ( I may be watching) the football on TV.

MAY / MIGHT for possible plans
MAY / MIGHT za planiranje

  • I’m going to Irland in July. (for sure) ( Idem u Irsku u julu. (sigurno))
  • I MAY BE GOING (or MIGHT BE GOING) to Irland in July. (possible)
    ( Možda ću/verovatno ću ići u Irsku u julu. (moguće))


  • We might as well do sth = We should do sth because there is nothing better to do and there is no reason not to do it. ( Trebamo nešto raditi jer nema ničeg bolje za raditi ili nema razloga da se nešto ne uradi.)
  • You can also say MAY AS WELL ( Možete takođe koristiti MAY AS WELL )

MUST / HAVE TOto say that is necessary to do sth. Sometimes it doesn’t matter which you use. (da bi se reklo da je nešto neophodno uraditi. Nekad nije bitno koji oblik koristite.)

  • Oh, it’s later than I thought. – I must go / I have to go.


MUST – personal (ličan) . When we express our personal feelings.

  • You must do sth = I ( the speaker ) say it is necessary.
  • She’s really nice person. You must meet her. (= I say this is necessary)

MUSTto talk about present / future not past.

  • I must go now
  • We must go tomorrow. ( not We must go yesterday )

HAVE TO – impersonal (bezličan). For facts, not for our personal feelings.( Radi činjenica, ne za lična osećanja.)

  • You have to do sth-because of a rule or the situation.
  • You can’t turn right here. You have to turn left.

Compare : Uporedite:

  • I must get up early tomorrow. There are a lot of things I want to do.
    ( Moram rano ustati sutra. Ima mnogo stvari koje želim uraditi.)
  • I have to get up early tomorrow. I’m going away and my train leaves at 7.30.
    (Moram rano ustati sutra. Putujem, a voz kreće u 7.30.)

HAVE TO – all forms:( svi oblici):

  • I had to go to hospital.
  • Have you ever had to go to hospital?
  • I might have to go to hospital.


  • What do I have to do to get a driving licnce?
  • Why did you have to go to hospital?
  • Karen doesn’t have to work on Saturdays.


You mustn’t do sth= it’s necessary that you do not do it ( so don’t do it )
                              (=bitno je to ne uraditi ( tako da nemoj to uraditi)

  • You must keep it a secret. You mustn’t tell anyone. (= don’t tell anyone)
    ( Moraš to držati u tajnosti. Ne smeš reći nikome. (= nemoj reći nikome)

You dont have to do sth = you don’t need to do it ( but you can if you want )
( Ne moraš nešto uraditi= nema potrebe da to uradiš ( ali možeš ako želiš) 

  • You can tell me if you want but you don’t have to tell me. ( = you don’t need to tell me)
    Možeš mi reći ukoliko želiš ali ne moraš. ( = nema potrebe da mi kažeš)


NEEDN’T DO= DON’T NEED TO DO=DON’T HAVE TO – ( nema potrebe uraditi)

  • That shirt isn’t dirty. You needn’t wash it. ( Ta majica nije prljava. Ne trebaš je prati.)

I NEEDN’T HAVE DONE STH= I did sth but I know it wasn’t necessary. ( Uradio sam nešto ali znam da to nije bilo potrebno.)

  • Why did you wash that shirt! It wasn’t dirty. You needn’t have washed
    ( Zašto si oprao tu majicu! Nije bila prljava. Nisi je trebao prati.)
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