Must vs Have To – English Language Exercise

Both must and have to can be used in relation to obligation, but what are the differences?

Must is used with internal obligations. This usually involves rules and laws, or something you feel is necessary.

E.g. You must drive on the left side of the road in the UK.

I must study harder if I want to pass that exam.

It can also be used with certainty.

E.g. If you study English every day, you must be dedicated!

You must be tired after driving all night!

Have to, on the other hand, is virtually the same thing. With that being said, it tends to be used for every other type of obligation. It is definitely the most commonly used, and in reality it can even substitute must in most circumstances!

E.g. I have to speak in English for my presentation tomorrow, I’m scared!.

She always has to wake up early for work.

HOWEVER! In their negative forms (mustn’t and don’t have to), they have completely different meanings!

Mustn’t expresses prohibition.

E.g. You mustn’t eat this cake (you are prohibited to eat the cake).

Don’t have to expresses the absence of obligation:

E.g. You don’t have to eat this cake (you are not obliged to eat the cake, but you can if you want to).

So now you know the rules, why not try our quiz and test your knowledge?

Must vs Have To Exercise

Fill in the gaps with the correct expression of obligation.

So, how did you do? We’re sure you did a great job, but if you’d like some more practise then try our listening exercise here, and take a look at our other blog posts for some more English exercises!

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