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    #1

    must/have to = for someone else's birthday

    Hello,

    *self-made sentence*

    - It is my girlfriend's birthday today. I must/have to buy something for her!

    Although I searched for the difference between 'must' and 'have to' on the forum, I still have difficulty in deciding which one to take - must or have to. I think both are OK, but with 'must' the sentence would be more emphatic.

    What do you think?

    Thanks.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: must/have to = for someone else's birthday

    They're the same for me.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: must/have to = for someone else's birthday

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Ademoglu:


    Grammar in Use (for intermediate students) by Raymond Murphy has some information that may interest you.

    I assume that you can find it in a good bookstore or library, or on the Web.

    Here are just a few points that he makes:

    1. Sometimes, there is no difference.

    a. You have to / must have a passport to visit most foreign countries.

    2. Sometimes, "must" is used to express personal feelings.

    a. I must write to Ann. I haven't written to her for ages.

    3. Sometimes "have to" is used to just give the facts.

    a. I can't meet you on Friday. I have to work.

    *****

    4. There are many other important points that he makes about the difference.

    5. If you accept Mr. Murphy's advice, perhaps you can now decide which word you wish to use for your sentence.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: must/have to = for someone else's birthday

    They have the same meaning, but I find "must" to be more emphatic.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: must/have to = for someone else's birthday

    To me they tend to have different connotations, but can mean the same
    "I must buy her something" tends to mean that you want to; it's a volitional act.
    "I have to buy her something" tends to mean you are coerced into doing it.

    "I must get more exercise." - a decision I've made myself.
    "I have to get more exercise." - It's doctor's orders.

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