What's the Difference: Must vs. Have to, Must Not vs. Don't Have to 1

What’s the Difference: Must vs. Have to, Must Not vs. Don’t Have to

Learn the differences between these Modal Verbs:  Must vs. Have to, and Mustn’t vs. Don’t/Doesn’t Have to…

Must vs. Have to

Must

Meaning:

– Express personal obligation

– Express what the speaker thinks is necessary

– Express subjective obligation

Examples:

You must work hard.

All passengers must wear seat belts.

Have to

Meaning:

– Express impersonal obligation

– The subject is obliged or forced to act by a separate, external power (for example, the Law or school rules)

– Express objective obligation

Examples:

I have to leave early today.

You will have to pay for the excess.

Mustn’t vs. Don’t/ Doesn’t Have to

Mustn’t/ Must not

Meaning:

It is prohibited; it is not allowed. It is important that you do NOT do something. The prohibition can be subjective (the speaker’s opinion) or objective.

Examples:

Children mustn’t talk to strangers.

Cars mustn’t park in front of the entrance.

Don’t/ Doesn’t Have to

Meaning:

There is no obligation; you are not required to do something, especially if you don’t want to.

Examples:

You don’t have to make excuses for her.

You don’t have to whisper, no one can hear us.

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What's the Difference: Must vs. Have to, Must Not vs. Don't Have to 2

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