have to vs need to

Hello,
Do you see any semantical or other difference between "have to" and "need to"? As an example I'll provide such context: "I've made a few mistakes in my life. I need to/have to learn by them."
Can any possible differences result from different contexts?
 
  • Hello,
    Do you see any semantical or other difference between "have to" and "need to"? As an example I'll provide such context: "I've made a few mistakes in my life. I need to/have to learn by them."
    Can any possible differences result from different contexts?

    Hello Majlo,

    Generally speaking, "have to" implies an obligation.

    "Need to" implies a want or desire.

    In your context, both meanings apply. ;)

    LRV
     

    Gioacchino

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Please consider the following dialog:

    Child: Dad, can we play with me?
    Father: I will play with you later, now I <have | need> to cook our lunch, it's almost lunch time and I haven't started yet!

    Which modal of necessity would you use? Have to or need to? Thank you
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    My fuzzy intuition is that "I need to" means something for my benefit,
    while "I have to" is for someone else's benefit.
    By "fuzzy" I mean that these are not strict categories, only tendencies.
     
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