Themes > Legal English >MUST or HAVE TO?
MUST or HAVE TO?

What's wrong?

Please correct the following sentences:

1. "Do you must leave so soon?"
2. A. "Must everyone here start work at 8 o'clock?"
B. "No they mustn't. We have a flexi-time system."
B.

What's the rule?

+


Must and have to both express obligation and so are often used in the same way, but there is a slight difference in meaning.

Must

Example: My car's dirty. I must clean it.

Must is used for personal obligation:
I must clean it (I think it is necessary to clean it).

Have /has to

Example: She has to type correspondence for both managers.

Has/Have to is more impersonal:
She has to type (this is one of the obligations of her work contract).

?

Must


Example: Must you leave so soon?

Do/Does ... have to ... ?

Example: Do you have to go?

Must ... ? and do/does ... have to ... ? can be used in the same way, but do/does ... have to ... ? is more common than must ... ?

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Mustn't

Example: They mustn't smoke at work. It's forbidden.

Mustn't expresses prohibition.

Don't/doesn't have to

Example: They don't have to wear a tie at work.

Don't/doesn't have to means that there is no obligation (They can wear a tie if they like, of course!).


Test it out!

Use the correct form of must or have to - in the positive or negative form as appropriate - to fill in the gaps in these sentences.

1. Everyone pay their tax by the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme.
2. She carry such heavy books. She has a very bad back problem.
3. We give a presentation to the Board this afternoon.
4. (you) write the reports yourself?
5. He speak German with our clients in Hamburg. They all speak excellent English.
6. I meet my boss every Monday morning to discuss the sales figures.
7. You leave your car there. That's the Managing Director's parking bay.
8. I send my mother some flowers. It's her birthday tomorrow.
9. How often (he) take the car in for a service?
   


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