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Difference between "have to" and "must"



 
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Difference between "have to" and "must" #1 (permalink) Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:14 am   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

English Synonym, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #63 "Synonyms for adapt", question 1

Children usually ......... quickly to all changes.

(a) suit
(b) fit
(c) change
(d) adjust

English Synonym, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #63 "Synonyms for adapt", answer 1

Children usually adjust quickly to all changes.

Correct answer: (d) adjust
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difference between "have to" and "must"

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Difference between "have to" and "must" #2 (permalink) Fri Feb 17, 2006 10:22 am   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

.
Not much, Goran. Here is one representative discussion:

"Have to" and "must" have the same meaning in the affirmative and interrogative forms when referring to obligation. Some grammarians think that "must" is slightly stronger, but for all practical purposes, they mean the same thing:

Doctors have to attend medical school for several years before they can practice medicine.

Doctors must attend medical school for several years before they can practice medicine.

While "have to" and "must" can be used interchangeably, there are differences in usage, as Michael Swan observes in Practical English Usage (Oxford University Press, 1995):

Both verbs can be used in British English to talk about obligation. (In American English, 'have to' is the normal form.) British English often makes a distinction as follows. 'Must' is used mostly to talk about the feelings and wishes of the speaker and hearer for example, to give or ask for orders. 'Have (got) to' is used mostly to talk about obligations that come from "outside" for example from laws, regulations, agreements and other people's orders. Compare:

I must stop smoking. (I want to.)
I have to stop smoking. Doctor's orders.

This is a terrible party. We really must go home.
This is a lovely party, but we've got to go home because of the baby-sitter.

Must you wear dirty old jeans all the time? (Is it personally important for you?)
Do you have to wear a tie at work? (Is there a regulation?)

.
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Must #3 (permalink) Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:08 am   Must
 

Hi Goran,

You might like to know about another use of must, expressing the idea of likelihood or probably true as in:

Question: What is that sound I can hear?
Answer; That must be the washing machine - it's always very noisy

Alan
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Difference between "have to" and "must" #4 (permalink) Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:53 pm   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

Sorry, but up until I took this test I was with the idea that adapt and adjust always take reflexive pronouns with them.

1- Children usually adjust/ adapt themselves...

What would you say?

Tom
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Difference between "have to" and "must" #5 (permalink) Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:55 pm   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

No
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Difference between "have to" and "must" #6 (permalink) Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:59 pm   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

Hi Tom

I'd say the test sentence is fine as it is and that adapt and adjust don't automatically need reflexive pronouns.

Amy
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Difference between "have to" and "must" #7 (permalink) Wed May 11, 2011 11:14 am   Difference between "have to" and "must"
 

what is the difference between "adapt" and "adjust?"
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