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.
"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.