Results 1 to 8 of 8

    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 265
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    "must" and "have to"

    I’m not sure when to use these words.
    I have read somewhere that “must” is used when you want it, and “have to” is used when you can’t avoid it. Is that true?
    For example, which should I use when I want to say the following?
    “Please tell Kathy I miss her so much. She must/has to come with you next time”.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    I'd use 'must' there to express how much I want her to be there.


    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 265
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    Thank you, tdol!

    What does it sound like if I use “has to” there?
    Will the meaning of the sentence change?

  1. SweetMommaSue's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Aug 2005
    • Posts: 95
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Smile Re: "must" and "have to"

    Quote Originally Posted by pink dragon
    Thank you, tdol!

    What does it sound like if I use “has to” there?
    Will the meaning of the sentence change?
    Hello pink dragon,
    To my American ears, they sound the same. They are virtually interchangeable in AE. In some instances, "must" may sound a little more formal, but really, there is no change in meaning.

    Smiles,
    SweetMommaSue

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    They're pretty interchangeable in BrE to. When urging people, we tend to use 'must', but 'have to' would not be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Hindi
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Oct 2005
    • Posts: 248
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    have to is used for external compulsions.

    must for personal obligations.



    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    They're pretty interchangeable in BrE to. When urging people, we tend to use 'must', but 'have to' would not be incorrect.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    That doesn't mean that there are not many cases where they can be used interchangeably, and even your distinction is less clearcut in practice because we also use 'must' to express true asbsolutes, many of which are external.


    • Join Date: May 2005
    • Posts: 265
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: "must" and "have to"

    Thank you very much, SweetMommaSue, rajan, and tdol!

Similar Threads

  1. "have dove" versus "have dived"/"dived"
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 24-Mar-2010, 02:51
  2. "MUST" or "HAVE TO" WHICH ONE HELP ME ..
    By Unregisteredx in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 31-Oct-2005, 10:37

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •