must - have to

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by simonaj, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. simonaj Senior Member

    italian, Italy
    I studied the difference between "must" and "have to": Must is personal, have to is impersonal. But in what cases is it possible using them interchangebly?
     
  2. equivoque Senior Member

    Queensland, Australia
    Australia - English
    "You have to pay the bills." and "You must pay the bills." mean the same thing in my house: broke again!
     
  3. MrJamSandwich

    MrJamSandwich Senior Member

    English, UK
    In terms of context, the two are virtually always interchangeable, but must - being monosyllabic - sounds more immediate, more imperative. In British English (I'm not sure about usage elsewhere), must is more frequently used in written language, whereas have to is more commonly spoken. To my ears, must when spoken can sound quite brusque.

    Another spoken variant, more informal and, some would argue, incorrect, is have got to - as in, I've got to feed the cat. The meaning is again exactly the same, but it sounds more casual.
     
  4. simonaj Senior Member

    italian, Italy
    Thanks, so the difference is not so strict... and for instance : "I must go" can be "I have to go" too (even if it's a personal feeling)?
     
  5. MrJamSandwich

    MrJamSandwich Senior Member

    English, UK
    Both are correct in any context - but personally I rarely use "must" when speaking, except in this sort of construction:
    Why isn't Paul here?
    He must have forgotten.

    This sounds perfectly natural, for all registers and situations because have to doesn't really fit into the compound past tense:

    He has to have forgotten.
    This doesn't sound particularly wrong to me, but it is very seldom used, if ever.

    As for nearly every grammar point, this may vary between different English-speaking regions.
     
  6. simonaj Senior Member

    italian, Italy
    Potete darmi qualche esempio di quando possono essere utlizzati sia "must" che "have to"? E cosa significa che "have to" è impersonale?
     
  7. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    USA/English
    Non capisco. Dove hai trovato quest'idea?

    I must do my homework before I can go to the party.
    I have to do my homework before I can go to the party.

    I must eat something soon!
    I have to eat something soon!

    You must tell me what's going on with your new boss.
    You have to tell me what's going on with your new boss.

    Secondo me, vogliono dire più o meno la stessa cosa, è solo che "must" è po' più forte.
     
  8. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    Or, casually and more often spoken (at least in the US):

    I have got to go ---> I've got to go ---> I've gotta go.

    The last one there is purely a written form of spoken English and it is incorrect as written, but essentially correct when it is spoken. I never say I have got to go, or even I've got to go. I would always say "I've gotta go," with no break between got and to (a distinction that may only be discernable to the cautious listener or a native). Sorry if this confuses you :)
     
  9. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    I think the one time I would definitely use 'must' instead of 'have to', is when it is follwed by the verb 'to have'. E.g. Devo averlo - 'I must have it', prefered to 'I have to have it'. (A fashion item is sometimes described as a 'must-have'). Otherwise I agree, they are interchangable.

    Panpan
     
  10. Hockey13

    Hockey13 Senior Member

    Irvine, California
    AmEnglish/German
    In AE, I'm use to hearing have to have with this emphasis:

    I have to have it.

    I think, but I'm not sure, there is a greater use of "must" in BE, though not by too much, really.
     
  11. Panpan

    Panpan Senior Member

    Sawbridgeworth, UK
    England, English
    You wouldn't be more likely to say 'I gotta have it'? I agree with you though, 'have to have' is just as comprehensible, I am only talking about my own preference for 'must have'.
    Panpan
     
  12. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Solamente la differenza (a me) è quello che Elaine ha detto, che "must" è più forte di "have to"
     
  13. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    In practical terms, "have to" often seems to mean "really want to." :)

    Elisabetta
     
  14. simonaj Senior Member

    italian, Italy
    Ho fatto una piccola ricerca e ho trovato che have to si usa quando è un'obbligazone che viene da circostanze o regole esterne.
    For instance "In England you have to drive on the left", ma forse è una regola solo teorica che resta sui libri di grammatica?
     
  15. cjwoodso Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    English,Castellano, Perú
    I believe that "must" does not have the urgency that "have to" has. the word "must" dictates a responsibility whereas "have to" is a requirement.

    charles
     
  16. bianconera

    bianconera Senior Member

    West Palm Beach Florida
    Italiano -( Rome) additionally Bilingual - English USA and Spanish ( S. Florida )
    Simona puoi dire la stessa cosa usando must
    In England you must drive on the left... altrimenti altro che regola, vai dritto all'ospedale!
     
  17. cjwoodso Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    English,Castellano, Perú
    bianconera

    you are ....right you must drive.... but you don't have to.

    charles
     
  18. SidneyB New Member

    England
    UK, English
    An additional thought, albeit a little late:

    One circumstance where "must" and "have to" are most definitely not interchangeable - when they are used in the negative.

    "You must not drive on the left" means driving on the left is forbidden, or highly inadvisable

    "You don't have to drive on the left" means driving on the left is not necessary, or not obligatory.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Angel.Aura

    Angel.Aura del Mod, solo L'aura

    Roma, Italia
    Italian
    Ciao SidneyB and welcome to the Forum :)

    Good point, by the way! :thumbsup:
     
  20. pagliaccio Junior Member

    ITALIAN
    I have to pick them up = devo andarla a prendere

    Ma non è corretto usare must al posto di have to

    I must pick them up.

    Ciao a tutti e buona Champions
     
  21. ilcigno

    ilcigno Senior Member

    Interesting ... some would say the exact opposite (or so it seems, see here, for example).

    Must is an incomplete verb; it has no infinitive, past or future (except in the sense that the present can be used as a future). Fo all these tenses, you must use "have to".
     
  22. sdon Senior Member

    ITALIAN
    Vorrei sapere ma "non dovrai farlo" nel senso è proibito

    You won't have to do it

    VA bene o è meglio You won't be allowed to...

    Me lo chiedo perchè mustn't e haven't to hanno significati in pratica opposti al negativo mentre al positivo sono spesso intercambiabili
     
  23. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    You won't have to do it = Non avrai bisogno di farlo (o qualcosa del genere)
    You won't be allowed to do it = Non sei permesso di farlo

    Due accezzioni decisamente diverse.
    Hai menzionato 'haven't' ma non lo vedo nel tuo post in un esempio?
     
  24. sdon Senior Member

    ITALIAN
    IL senso è NON DOVRAI FARLO perchè è proibito.

    Siccome so che have to sostituisce MUST nei tempi futuro e passato che Must non ha pensavo che

    You won't have to do it

    Significasse appunto

    Non dovrai farlo (perchè è proibito!)

    IN quel caso il senso di must è reso da not allowed to?!
     
  25. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Ahh... "You must not do it" ! :) (è proibito)
     
  26. rrose17

    rrose17 Senior Member

    Montreal
    Canada, English
    Per non dovrai farlo direi
    You shouldn't do that.
    Per non devi farlo
    You mustn't do that.
    Sono sbagliato?
    We also say you're not supposed to do that which is difficult to translate accurately, I think.
     
  27. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    Hmm, if someone said that to me I'd think they were telling me I needn't do that, it's not necessary...

    Am I wrong?
     
  28. Phil9 Senior Member

    London
    UK English
    You mustn't do it means that it is probably forbidden or that you shouldn't do it. e.g.:

    You mustn't go through a red light (because it's forbidden).

    Mother to child:You mustn't interrupt your teacher when she's talking (because it's considered rude, but not illegal)


    You won't have to do it means that it will not be necessary for you to do it or that no one will force you to do it. It doesn't mean that it's forbidden. e.g.:

    You should have an audition to join this choir, but you won't have to do it. (because they're desperate for new singers).
     
  29. sdon Senior Member

    ITALIAN
    Quindi anche se volessi dire

    "NOn dovevi farlo" potrei dire meglio

    "YOu shouldn't have done it" invece di "You didn't have to do" nel senso che era proibito (forbidden)??
     
  30. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    L'altro sarebbe usato in un modo diverso, (non ce n'è stato bisogno di farlo)
     
  31. cavazzina New Member

    italian-english
    Ciao, dovrei tradurre questa frase ma non so con precisione come fare. la frase è : devo andare da mia mamma perchè è malata. riuscite a tradurla? magari spiegando, grazie in anticipo!

    must o have to? come tradurre questa frase? devo andare da mia mamma perchè è malata
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  32. Benzene

    Benzene Senior Member

    GENOA (ITALY)
    Italian, Italy
    Ciao cavazzina!

    Si usa "must" quando chi parla ritiene molto importante e/o indispensabile fare qualcosa.

    Quando il verbo "dovere" implica un obbligo o un comando allora si usa "to have to".

    La forma negativa "must not or must'n" indica una proibizione.

    Bye,

    Benzene
     
  33. TimLA

    TimLA Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English - US
    Ciao e benvenuta.

    I need to go visit my mother because she is sick.
    I must go visit my...

    Forse la prima forma sia più naturale.
     

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