Speak About:

Present

Past

Past to Present

Future

Abilities - Responsibilities

Asking Questions

Choosing the Right Phrase

Combining Verbs

Explaining Ideas

Describing Your World

Complex Ideas

Relating Ideas, People, Objects

Speaking about Objects

Wondering about Situations

Responsibilities and Obligations

Must and Have to

Must - Strong Personal Obligation

Use 'must' in the positive form to speak about strong personal obligations that you feel are crucial at the moment of speaking.

I must object to the cash flow statement.

You must demonstrate recent account activity.

Have to - Responsibilities

'Have to' is used to indicate responsibilities at work. Use 'have to' to talk about daily responsibilities and obligation in general. 'Have to' is often confused with 'must'. The main difference is that 'have to' expresses obligation to work, family, friends, etc. 'Must' is used to indicate strong personal obligation that is felt at the moment of speaking.

'Have to' differs from other modal forms. 'Have to' is conjugated and followed by the base form.

Positive Form:

You have to count the cash at the end of day before you begin your audit of receipts.

Negative Form:

You don't have to report the withholding tax on your year-end forms.

Question Form:

They have to make a down payment of $20,000 on the house.

Had to

When speaking in the past, there is only one way to express obligation: 'Had to' We use 'had to' when we speak about past responsibilities and strong personal obligations.

Example:

Jacob had to file the balance sheet last month.

I had to forfeit the interest accrual when I made an early withdrawal.

Must vs. Have To

'Have to' expresses everyday responsibilities at work, or for family and friends. 'Must' is only used for strong personal obligations.

Example 'Have to' for Responsibilities:

You have to count the cash at the end of day before you begin your audit of receipts.

We have to come up with paperwork and documentation for the audit.

Example 'Must' for Strong Obligations:

I must object to the cash flow statement.

You must demonstrate recent account activity.

The difference between 'have to' and 'must' in the negative is extreme. 'Not have to' signifies a lack of obligation. 'Mustn't', on the other hand, signifies prohibition. The past form of both 'must' and 'have to' is 'had to'

Example 'Have to' for No Obligation:

We don't have to capitalize this industry yet.

You don't have to report the withholding tax on your year-end forms.

Example 'Mustn't' for Prohibition:

You mustn't forget to balance your checking account.

You mustn't forget to mention the call option.