Unit 4 Reading Practice ‘Change’ – Quiz

‘Have to’ – EXPLAINED!

I had to change drastically when I became a father.                           Brian Smith
All of a sudden I had to grow up.                                                        Emma Jones

When do we use ‘have to’? Do you remember when Brian and Emma used ‘have to’?

‘have to’ is a main verb, in this case ‘have’ is not used as an auxiliary verb (but rather as a semi-modal verb).

We usually use ‘must’, a modal verb which expresses obligations and necessity, when we believe something is important. For example: ‘I think you must call your mother more often, she is really worried about you’.

  • The phrase ‘have to’ performs the same function with a difference. Let’s see how and why!

The rule is: ‘have to’ expresses impersonal obligation as from an external force for eg: the law or school.

I have to wear a uniform in my new school ( the school rules)            Subj + have to + verb

People have to drive on the right side in Italy. (it’s the law)                         Subj + have to + verb

‘have to’ is used in almost all verb tenses:

affirmativehad to + vhave to + v will have to + v
negativedidn’t have to + vdon’t have to + vwon’t have to / will not have to + v
interrogativedid + S + have to + v do + S + have to + v will + S + have to + v
*Continues tense forms are not commonly used with ‘have to’

also with modal verbs themselves:

Modal verb ‘may’S + may + have to + ve.g.: The parents may have to come to the school.

The most important things to remember:

  1.  ‘Have to’ can play the role of ‘must’ in the past (had to).
  2. The negative of ‘have to’ is ‘don’t have to’ meaning ‘not necessary’. *We use ‘mustn’t’ to express obligation, talking about something not allowed by the law or rules that we need to follow.
  3. We can use ‘have to’ in questions.
  4. In America, you can hear people saying ‘I have got to’ [pronounced ‘I’ve gotta’] instead of ‘have to’

More examples:

  • I have got to wear a suit when I’m at the court. (court rules)
  • I’ve got to tell you something.
  • I don’t have to wear a jacket to the beach. (you are free to do as you please)
  • You mustn’t drink and drive as the police will stop you for drinking. (it’s against the law)
  • Do we have to go to school tomorrow?

Check if you can use ‘have to’, ‘have got to’ and ‘must’ (and their negative forms) by doing the quiz I prepared for you!

It’s a multiple choice task, only one answer is correct.

Good luck!

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