BRITISH ENGLISH lessons by Anton Brejestovski

Hoping this blog will help you a bit if you're learning English...

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Must vs Have to
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brejestovski
 
Lisa asked me on Facebook:

Could you explain the difference between MUST and HAVE TO + Ist form?

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Here is the answer.


Sometimes there is no difference.

For example: Sorry, I must go. / Sorry I have to go.

* * *

Sometimes "must" means that the obligation is YOUR idea:

Polly, looking at herself in the mirror: Oh, no! I must go to the gym immediately.

Nobody is telling Polly to go to the gym. Maybe her boyfriend just loves the way she looks! But Polly HERSELF thinks she needs exercise.

* * *

Mother (to her daughter): Emily, you must work harder.

It's the mother who thinks that Emily must put more effort into learning, not Emily.

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And  "have to" sometimes stresses that the obligation comes from SOMEBODY ELSE, NOT you:

Claire, a gorgeous-looking top model, to her friend on the phone: I'm dreaming of going to McDonald's tonight! But I have to go to the gym! My idiot manager is telling me to.
Her friend: Oh, no. What a tosser!

Obviously, Claire doesn't want to go to the gym, but she has to - because this is what her boss wants.

* * *

Emily (to her friend on the phone): I can't go out, sorry. Mum says I have to work harder. I've still got loads of homework...

It's not Emily's idea to work harder - it's her mum's. this is why Emily says "I have to".

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А must не жёстче, чем have to? Нас в школе так учили. (Но это было давно, мож, с тех пор все изменилось?)

have to порой можно перевести, как "придется". For example: Мне придется ехать к бабушке на выходные.

must - должен, have to - вынужден (внешними обстоятельствами, да)

Hi Anthony! I have a little question) Last summer when I was in England and answered any questions positively I used "surely" but natives corrected me to use "sure". What difference?
thnx)
Alex

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