must vs have to

salai

Senior Member
Russian
Hello,

Here are sentences from the course book "New Success at First Certificate" published by Oxford University Press in 1997:
"If you are not transferring to another flight outside Britain or Northern Ireland, you must pass through Passport Control and Customs immediately after leaving your plane.
If you are not British or a citizen of a country in the European Community, you must fill out a special form called a landing card before your passport is examined."

As far as I understand if something is beyond my control, e.g. a set of rules or regulations, work schedule, etc., I use "have to".
If it is my personal opinion, I use "must".

In the above sentences it goes about the situations passengers can't control, they have to deal with official procedures.
Why do we use "must" and not "have to"?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    As far as I understand if something is beyond my control, e.g. a set of rules or regulations, work schedule, etc., I use "have to".
    If it is my personal opinion, I use "must".
    I don't make that distinction -- I think "must" is simply a stronger form of "have to" in such situations.
     

    dingenc

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    I want to share an information that not everybody knows:
    Usage of "have to" associated with necessity: She has to start working harder.(necessity coming from outside the speaker)
    Usage of "have to" associated with obligation: I have to study harder. (I am obliged to; my teacher said to)
    So, what I've learnt from my grammar book is that we can't use "have to" whenever we want; someone must have told us that we have to do something and only then we can say "I have to ..."
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, Salai.

    In both your example sentences reference is made to a law/procedure/norm that has been decided upon by a DEONTIC SOURCE which transcends the passenger, the pilot, the hair hostesses, and Customs officials.

    Best.
    GS
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    So, what I've learnt from my grammar book is that we can't use "have to" whenever we want; someone must have told us that we have to do something and only then we can say "I have to ..."
    I don't make that distinction either. :)

    I have to go now -- I'm bored. :D
     

    Frusen

    Member
    English - BrE
    The negative has the most difference.
    -Don't have to = you needn't do X
    -You mustn't = You should never ever ever do X
     
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