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|Subject: Must or Have to 9/2/2011, 9:53 pm|| |
Must or have to
can use 'must' to show that we are certain something is true. We are
making a logical deduction based upon some clear evidence or reason.
- There's no heating on. You must be freezing.
- You must be worried that she is so late coming home.
- I can't remember what I did with it. I must be getting old.
- It must be nice to live in Florida.
also use 'must' to express a strong obligation. When we use 'must' this
usually means that some personal circumstance makes the obligation
necessary (and the speaker almost certainly agrees with the obligation.)
- I must go to bed earlier.
- They must do something about it.
- You must come and see us some time.
- I must say, I don't think you were very nice to him.
can also use 'have to' to express a strong obligation. When we use
'have to' this usually means that some external circumstance makes the
- I have to arrive at work at 9 sharp. My boss is very strict.
- We have to give him our answer today or lose out on the contract.
- You have to pass your exams or the university will not accept you.
- I have to send a report to Head Office every week.
In British English, we often use 'have got to' to mean the same as 'have to'.
- I've got to take this book back to the library or I'll get a fine.
- We've got to finish now as somebody else needs this room.
can also use ' will have to' to talk about strong obligations. Like
'must' this usually means that that some personal circumstance makes
the obligation necessary. (Remember that 'will' is often used to show
- I'll have to speak to him.
- We'll have to have lunch and catch up on all the gossip.
- They'll have to do something about it.
- I'll have to get back to you on that.
you can see, the differences between the present forms are sometimes
very small and very subtle. However, there is a huge difference in the
- We use 'mustn't' to express strong obligations NOT to do something.
- We mustn't talk about it. It's confidential.
- I mustn't eat chocolate. It's bad for me.
- You mustn't phone me at work. We aren't allowed personal calls.
- They mustn't see us talking or they'll suspect something.
We use 'don't have to' (or 'haven't got to' in British English) to state that there is NO obligation or necessity.
- We don't have to get there on time. The boss is away today.
- I don't have to listen to this. I'm leaving.
- You don't have to come if you don't want to.
- He doesn't have to sign anything if he doesn't want to at this stage.
- I haven't got to go. Only if I want to