Must and Have to for beginners

'Have to' and 'must' have the same meaning and are used to express obligations. However, they are used in different situations and are not interchangeable.

"Must and Have to" in English Grammar

The Modal Verb Must

We use 'must' to talk about rules and obligations in the present.


Typically, the base form of the verb is used after 'must'.

For example:

You must do your homework.

He must pay her back.

You must be quiet after 10 o'clock.

'Must' has only one form for all persons.

I must work.
He/She/It must work.
We/You/They must work.


The negative form of must is 'must not' or 'mustn’t'. But keep in mind that in modern everyday English, 'mustn't' and 'must not' are not commonly used.

You mustn't disrespect your parents.

They must not forget their duties.

These sentences are both rather formal and we normally use 'shouldn't' or 'should not' instead.


Do not use don’t/doesn’t/didn’t with 'must.'

Forming Questions

To form questions, all you need to do is move 'must' to the beginning of the sentence before the subject . But remember that it is rather formal and it is not used in everyday English that often.

Must you be this cruel?

Must I pay now?


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