Lots of students are facing problems when it is required to use must or have to. In this article we deeply analyze when and how to use it grammatically correct in our everyday life, whether it is in writing, speaking or something else.
When we use “Must” and “Have to” in positive sentences it is quite difficult to choose what to use exactly, because they have very similar meaning. However, there are still some minor differences which we will discuss now.
- Let`s start with “Have to”. “Have to” is more common for general external obligations such as rules and laws.
I have to wear a shirt and tie at work. (it is the rule in this company)
- On the other hand, “Must” is more common for specific (i.e. on one occasion) or personal obligation.
I must buy a new car – this one is too old now and breaking quite often. (it is my own decision)
- However, in negative sentences or when we use “Do not have (or don`t have)” and “Must not (or mustn`t)” they are totally different.
You must not drive along this street. (It is prohibited by law/ against the law)
You do not have to drive, we can get a train. (You can drive if you want to, but it is not necessary)
Should / Should not
We use “Should and Should not” in order to express an advice or opinion. Should is not as strong as Must or Have to. We need to use should when we think that something is the right or wrong thing to do.
You should take warm clothes with you to the mountains. It might be cold at night over there.