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the answer about must/have to questions

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jullianus, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. jullianus Senior Member

    Korean
    Hello.

    As far as I know, 'must' have the same meaning with 'have to'. Then when I answer about the 'must' or 'have to' questions, could I answer with the other?

    1a. Do you have to see the movie?
    b. Yes, I have to. c. No, I don't have to. d. Yes, I must. e. No, I mustn't. f. Yes, I do. g. No, I don't.

    2a. Must you see the movie?
    b. Yes, I have to. c. No, I don't have to. d. Yes, I must. e. No, I mustn't. f. Yes, I do. g. No, I don't.

    Are these all answers possible?

    Thank you always~.
     
  2. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    They're all possible, but they don't all have the same meaning. In particular: No, I don't have to and No, I mustn't are very different.

    No, I don't have to = There is no pressure on me to see the film.
    No, I mustn't = There is pressure on me not to see the film.

    Also, it's not very good style to reply to a must question with a do answer.
     
  3. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, jullianus.

    The structure of "No, I mustn't see that movie" can be deceiving for those who expect the negative element — here, "not" — to negate the modal auxiliary (especially in cases where the "not" and the Modal are fused together in the so called contracted form. In reality, the "not" negates the rest of the predicate, while the modal auxiliary imposes a certain action (in our case a non-action, as it were). The two structures can be compared thus:

    1. No, I [don't have to] see that movie
    2. No, I [must] n't see that movie

    GS
     

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