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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #29834: Must / Have to
Must / Have to
MUST HAVE TO
Must and have to are used to express obligation or the need to do something
they can be used interchangeably however
---MUST: (subjective obligation) in general expresses what the speaker thinks is necessary
I must stop smoking / We must go it's already midnight /They must work harder
__HAVE TO: (objective obligation) in general suggests that somebody else has imposed the decision
In France you have to drive on the right / Tom has to wear a uniform at school
1° have to can be used in all tenses:
Tom had to wear a uniform last year / Tom will have to wear a uniform next year
Sonia is having to wait / she may have to come back tomorrow
2° must can be used to talk about the present or the future
Tom must call his mother tomorrow
but it can't be used to talk about the past ( you use have to)
Do you have to leave now? / Must you leave right now?
The negative form of must and the negative form of have to are very different in meaning
1° must not / mustn't is used to say that something is not allowed
Children mustn't play with fire / Passengers must not talk to the driver / Visitors mustn't smoke
'must not 'can't be used to talk about the past, you use another structure
example: we were not allowed to park near the museum
2° don't have to means that there is no obligation to do something, but you can do it if you want
you don't have to drink alcohol, you can have a soft drink
she doesn't have to arrive before 9
when the lights are red you must stop
you have to stop
you mustn't go on
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