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    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 1

    "Have to" vs "Don't have to"

    A student has asked me a tricky question the other day, that I would like to be able to answer better shall it arise in the future. Any help, is greatly appreciated. The question is as follows:

    Since “must not” is the opposite of “must”, I thought “don’t have to” is the opposite of “have to” but I got it wrong on the test. Can you help me.

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 14

    Re: "Have to" vs "Don't have to"

    Explain him their meaning is different:

    Must not: Prohibition => I must not chew gum in class or the teacher will tell me off.

    Must: Obligation (normally moral or imposed by yourself) => I must go to the supermarket - I want to make my mum a favour.

    Have to: Obligation (normally imposed by another person) => You have to go to school from Monday to Friday (whether you like it or not).

    Don't have to: Lack of obligation => You don't have to wash your car, it's clean enough (= you may, but it's not necessary).


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