"Have to" probability

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emanko

Senior Member
Arabic- Egyptian
Hello

In many grammar websites, "must" is listed as a modal of probability, as in:

Adam didn't show up today. He must be sick. (Background: Adam always shows up and is never absent.)

My question is about "have to": can it replace "must" in the above sentence?

Adam didn't show up today. He has to be sick.

Thank you
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I think I detect a difference in nuance between the two (which are both acceptable as SwissPete says). I think "has to" is more emphatic, or more literal in this usage.

    Adam didn't show up today. He must be sick. - He very probably is sick.
    Adam didn't show up today. He has to be sick. - There is simply no other explanation.
     
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