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.

Due to current inflation we must put a control on our spending

I must call customer service to find out why the account activity on my bill is wrong.

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:

The client has to use the call option by Monday.

Negative Form:

We don't have to capitalize this industry yet.

Question Form:

Do we have to total the cash collateral every day?

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:

Susan had to revise the balance sheet last week.

John had to work out his floating-rate loan this morning.

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:

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

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

Example 'Must' for Strong Obligations:

Due to current inflation we must put a control on our spending

I must call customer service to find out why the account activity on my bill is wrong.

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:

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

I told the client "You don't have to overdraw your account if you are short at the end of the month if you have one of our credit cards."

Example 'Mustn't' for Prohibition:

You mustn't forget to mention the call option.

You mustn't forget to balance your checking account.