Have To vs Get To: Difference and Comparison

English is the language used universally and is mostly accepted globally as the first or second language. The advice to have perfection in the language is to make grip on the grammar, which is the most important thing in any form of language. Because to form a final sentence, the first thing to consider is connecting different short sentences to make a whole.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Have to” implies a sense of obligation or duty, while “get to” implies a sense of privilege or opportunity.
  2. “Have to” suggests that the task or activity is necessary, mandatory, or unavoidable. “Get to” suggests the task or activity is desirable, enjoyable, or rewarding.
  3. Using “get to” instead of “have to” can help shift one’s perspective and attitude towards the task or activity, making it feel less burdensome and more positive.

Have To vs Get To

The difference between Have to and Get to is that when ‘Have to’ is used in a sentence or statement, it is meant to make an obligation or compulsion to perform a task or work. Comparatively, on the other hand, when ‘Get to’ is used in a sentence or a statement, it is meant to make or give some privilege or opportunity to someone. 

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Have to often referred to as a transitive verb (which means it admires or puts stress over the action or emotion of the verb by which it is affected). The word ‘Have to’ is probably used to make any obligation or satisfy another person’s compulsion. The final sentences or statements are negative. 

Get to is an irregular transitive verb. The word ‘Get to’ is often used to denote any privilege given or an opportunity to another person. For example – I will get to have my mobile phone after my 18th birthday. The given example signifies the privilege given to another person. ‘Get to’ is the first form of the verb, which is used only in present-tense sentences or statements. 


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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHave ToGet To
UsageAny obligation or compulsionGetting some privilege
Verb FormSecond FormFirst Form
Example I have to study for my exam tomorrow.This time, I get to decide the place for our next vacation.
TenseBoth Present and FutureOnly Present
Used with All plural subjects along with I, You, We, They.Used with singular subjects I, You, and plural subject We, They

What is Have To?

The meaning of the word ‘Have to’, which is often used in our daily sentences, is nothing but the obligations, compulsions, and directions given to another person to complete or perform the necessary work or task. It is one of the good examples of transitive verbs used in English Grammar. Consider the following example that has been given below for a better understanding – 

have to complete my pending school homework before I leave to attend the wedding function.  

Thus, it herby signifies the compulsion to complete the task before performing the other one. ‘Have to’ is the second form of the verb and is used in sentences that are in the present tense or future tense. In a sentence, ‘Have to’ is used with all the plural subjects in addition to I, You, We, and They.

The structure to form a sentence have to be as follows – Subject + Verb + Object. Sometimes the sentence formed is in negative form, but other than that, it can be formed in affirmative and interrogative form.

have to

What is Get To?

The meaning of the word ‘Get to’, a regular and common phrase used in daily life, meant the liberty, opportunity, or privilege given to another person. It is a great example of transitive verbs known in English Grammar. Below is the example to get a clear idea about the same – 

Tomorrow we will get to Sydney by 7:30 p.m.

I am very excited because I get to know more about our Prime Minister personally. 

The above two examples showcase the opportunities and privileges they provided or received. ‘Get to’ is the first form of the verb and is used in sentences in the present tense. The little phrase is used in both cases when to signify a single person or plural person in addition to the subject You, I, We, and They. They formerly create a positive or an affirmative sentence when used.

Main Differences Between Have To and Get To

  1. ‘Have to’ signifies an expression of obligation or compulsion made to another person, while on the other hand ‘Get to’ denotes the expression of any opportunity or privilege provided to someone.
  2. ‘Have to’ is the second form of the verb, while ‘Get to’ is used as the first form of the verb in a sentence.
  3. ‘Have to’ can be used in both present and future sentences, while ‘Get to’ is used only in the present tense.
  4. The word ’Have to’ is used with the plural subjects in addition to I, We, They, You, whereas the word ‘Get to’ is used with both singular and plural subjects in different situations and forms of sentences in addition to I, They, You, We.
  5. ‘Have to’ forms a negative form of the sentence, while ‘Get to’ forms a positive form of a sentence.
  6. An example of ‘Have to’ is I have to work before the deadline as asked by HR while an example of the word ‘Get to’ is The park wasn’t fun, but the food we get to eat was nice.
Difference Between Have To and Get To


  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780203060018-17/get-right-anyway-brian-page
  2. https://brill.com/view/book/edcoll/9789004368804/BP000008.xml
  3. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yAFYlnz6OGAC&oi=fnd&pg=PA119&dq=difference+between+have+to+and+get+to&ots=FJn_ki2FIo&sig=u4l-Z2pyKhtBbYuXKyiE9utMQ4s&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=difference%20between%20have%20to%20and%20get%20to&f=false
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278431903000240

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