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Archive Language Point 62
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Must/have to

ALice in a restaurant
Both of these modal verbs are used to talk about obligation (things that you are required to do), but their meaning and use are slightly different.

Must is often used to express obligations that the speaker feels are necessary. For example, when Paul says: 'you must try some' and 'we must do this again', he is expressing his own personal view about what is necessary.

Have to is often used to express obligations which come from an external source: another person or organisation has made a rule that we are required to follow. So when Alice says: 'I have to work a night shift next weekend' she is talking about an obligation that has been given to her by her employer.


In the present tense, must takes the same form in all persons:

I must
you must
he/she/it must
we must
you must
they must

Must is followed by a base verb (infinitive without 'to').

I must eat more fruit. It's good for me.
You must go and see the new Will Smith movie. You'll love it!
We must remember to thank them for the lovely gift.

have to

In the present tense, have to takes the same form in all persons, but it becomes has to in the 3rd person:

I have to
you have to
has to
we have to
you have to
they have to

Have to is followed by a base verb (infinitive without 'to').

I have to submit this assignment by 3pm tomorrow.
She has had three heart attacks, so now she has to have an operation.
You have to use the back door in the evenings; the front door is locked at 5pm.



sweet food such as cake, fruit or ice cream served at the end of a meal

tempting (adj):
attractive, inviting

a night shift:
a period of work which takes place overnight, for example, from 10pm to 6am

I've really enjoyed your company:
I've had fun spending time with you

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