Must vs. Have To | English Speaking Lessons

Must can be used in affirmative sentences to say that something is necessary. This is common in British English.

  • You must improve your English.
  • He must work hard.
  • I must be there before 9 o’clock.

In American English, have to is more common.

  • He has to work hard. She has to improve your communication skills.

Must can also be used to ask if something is necessary.

  • Must I finish the work today itself?
  • Must I clean all the rooms?

In American English, have to is preferred.

  • Do I have to finish the work today itself?
  • Do I have to clean all the rooms?

In British English, must not can be used to prohibit people from doing things.

  • You must not tell this to anybody.
  • You must not open this packet.

To say that things are unnecessary, we usually use ‘do not have to’ or ‘do not need to’.

  • You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand this.
  • If you have already applied, you don’t have to apply again.

To talk about past necessity, we can use had to.

  • When I was a child, I had to walk three miles to school.
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Manjusha Nambiar

I am the founder and editor of http://www.perfectyourenglish.com, http://www.ielts-practice.org, and http://ncertguides.com

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