Difference Between Must and Have To (With Table)

Must and have to are two forms of the Modal Auxiliary Verbs. Modals are used for the auxiliary verb to express obligation or possibility. Modals are very different from verbs. They did not have infinitive or participle forms. There are a certain number of modals in the English verbs like must, have to, may, might, shall, should, will, would, can, could. Modals are classified into different types “quasi-modals”, “semi-modals”, or “pseudo-modals”.

Must vs Have To

The difference between Must and Have To is that Must is used to express specific obligations like ‘You must follow this’ and Have To used to express the general obligations like ‘I have to do this work’. Must is always used as a necessity or in a situation where a conclusion can be reached. In contrast, Have To is used as an alternative form or instead of Must.

Must is a modal that is used to give meanings to the sentence and other verbs. ‘Must’ is used when it is very necessary to tell the important events which will happen in future or the present. For example, I must work hard on my English!. Must is also used to emphasize any opinion. For example, I must say, you look gorgeous in this dress!

Have To is used in the same sentences as must is used. ‘Have To’ also have the same meanings as ‘must’ have. It is much more flexible than the term ‘must’ because ‘have to’ can be used in all three situations, whether it is past, present, and future. The structure of ‘Have to’ is very similar to a normal verb. For asking questions, also use ‘have to’ more than a ‘must’. Because it is easier to use ‘have to’.

Comparison Table Between Must and Have To

Parameter of ComparisonMustHave To
DefinitionMust is used for the situation which has certainty, necessity, obligation, and recommendation.Have To is used in a situation that is uncertain but can happen due to circumstances.
VerbThe verb used is the Modal verb.The verb used is Semi-Modal Verb.
ObligationInternal Obligation is used.External Obligation is used.
Noun & Pronoun‘Must’ can be used as a noun. But it remains the same for the pronoun.‘Have To’ can’t be used as a noun. But it changes as per the pronoun.
Negative and Interrogative SentencesSentences can be created without using an auxiliary verb. Sentences cannot be created without using an auxiliary verb.

What is Must?

Must is a modal verb that is used to express an obligation. Must is always used in the situation which is compulsory and cannot be stopped or ignored. In any circumstances or situations, it has to be done. There are the following pointers that are necessary to keep in mind if we are using must in a sentence. 

  1. It is used when something is absolutely important to happen. For example, One must be influential to become a leader.
  2. It is used when you have to give emphasis. For example, I must say, You are very loving and kind.
  3. It is used to show the probability. For example, Sheena must be coming by flight.
  4. It is used for exclamations! For example, You must be a fool!
  5. It is used to show obligations. For example, You must do submit this project by Monday.
  6. It is also used to give remark and comments. For example, You must be wondering how I completed this.

Must is used in past and future situations. ‘Must’ can also be used to state certainty, recommendation and necessity. The negation of must is must not. Must not is used to prohibit the actions. We can also make questions starting with Must. But in Modern English, it is rarely used. 

What is Have To?

Have To is used in informal situations. It is not an auxiliary verb, but it is a semi-modal verb. It used the main verb i.e. have with to i.e. infinitive together to form modal. The basic structure of Have To is: subject + auxiliary verb + have + to(infinitive). Have To is used when we have to force something or to bound someone. It is used as an obligation to impose something externally as an external obligation is used. The following points where Have To is used are:

  1. To show that something must be done. For example, I have to go to Mumbai tomorrow.
  2. To show that rules need to be followed. For example, You have to take care of your luggage carefully.
  3. Used to highlight something. For example, I have to say; you did a great job.
  4. Also used to give advice or comment on someone. For example, You don’t have to be a science expert to understand the law of gravity.

Main Differences Between Must and Have To

  1. ‘Must’ is used for the situation which has certainty, necessity, obligation, and recommendation. ‘Have To’ is used in a situation that is uncertain but can happen due to circumstances because of external force.
  2. The verb used in the ‘must’ is the Modal verb. The verb used in ‘have to’ is Semi-Modal Verb and not an auxiliary verb.
  3. Internal Obligation is used in ‘must’. External Obligation is used in ‘have to’.
  4. ‘Must’ can be used as a noun. But it remains the same for the pronoun. ‘Have To’ can’t be used as a noun. But it changes as per the pronoun.
  5. Sentences can be created without using an auxiliary verb in ‘must’.Sentences cannot be created without using an auxiliary verb in ‘have to’.

 Conclusion

The ideal approach to recall the distinction between these two is that you can utilize ‘must’ when you think something is important to do. However, when you are obliged to accomplish something, use ‘have to’. Further, the word ‘must’ continue as before in every one of the three tenses, while have to becomes ‘will have to’ and ‘had to’, in the past tense and future tense separately.

An option in contrast to must is the articulation ‘have to’ or ‘has to’ rely upon the pronoun (in the current state have got to can be used), which is frequently more colloquial in casual English when alluding to commitment. This additionally gives different structures in which must is damaged and empowers straightforward nullification.

References

  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1991-22074-001
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10253860701799959
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