Have to & must


These words tell us about things that we must or must not do – obligation (Verpflichtung).
German speakers of English very often use the word “must” far too often as the translation for “müssen”.
We suggest that you should try to use “have to” more than must in order to make your English sound more natural.


I/you/we/they have to + infinitive
have to go home now.
don’t have to go home now.
Do you have to go home now?

He/she/it has to + infinitive
She has to finish work soon.
She doesn’t have to finish work soon.
Does she have to finish work soon?

subject + had to + infinitive
had to telephone the UK
didn’t have to telephone the UK
Did you have to telephone the UK?
In English we cannot use must in the past.
had to go to a meeting yesterday. – (not: I must go to a meeting yesterday.)

You don’t have to … (Du musst nicht…)
You must not (mustn’t) … (Du darfst nicht…)

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