English The Easy Way

Have To vs. Must - Commonly Confusing English Words

A lot of people ask me what is the different between "have to" & must.

Grammatical Differences

"Have to" can be used as a main verb

"Must" is a modal verb, and it can't be used as a main verb, so a main verb must be added, to the sentence when using "must"

Difference In Meaning

There is also a slight meaning between the two word, but many people use the same words interchangeably.

Must - is used for obligation, something that you do not have any choice, such as pay taxes, go to work, go to school etc.

  • I must go and pay the electric bill.
  • We must have car insurance on our car.
  • I must walk my dog on a leash.

Have to - is used more for responsibilities, such as take care of your car, keep your house/room clean, do your homework etc.

  • I have to the store.
  • We have to see my son's teacher.
  • I have to call my sister she is not feeling well.

Must not means forbidden!! not allowed to do something or go somewhere

  • I must not pay the electric bill late.
  • We must not drive a car without car insurance.
  • I must not let the dog outside without a leash.

Do not have to - is used to say something is not necessary to do, but you can do it if you want

  • I do not have to go to the store.
  • We do not have to see my son's teacher.
  • I do not have to call my sister she, because I will see her latter.

As & Because

As & When

Aloud & Allowed

All & Very

Above & Over

Ever & Forever

Across & Along

Advice & Advise

Afraid - Frighten - Scared

Affect & Effect

A Few & A Little

Alike & Similar

Alot & A lot

Already Finish Just Still

Although & Though

All & Whole

Always & All Ways


Another - Other - The Other

Ate & Eight

Ill & Sick

Few & Little

Back up & Backup

Because & So

Begin & Start

Believe - Count On - Depend &

Berry & Bury

Bring & Take

By & On

By & Through

Change & Charge

Cook & Cooker

Close & Closed

Cord & Chord

Despite & In sprite Of

Do & Make

Do & Make Quiz

Ever & Forever

Elder & Older

Discover& Figure Out

Fast Food & Junk Food

Flower & Flour

Following & Next & Preceding

For & To

Fun & Funny

Figure & Figure Out

Grey & Gray

Have To & Must - Confusing Words

Have & Has Chart

Heal & Heel

Hear & Here

Here & There

History & Story

Home & House

Hotel & Motel

Just Already Finish Still

Knew & New

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