Random Thoughts 14

最終更新: 4月13日

Must / have to

These have similar meanings. Sometimes they can be used interchangeably [互換的に], but not at other times. “Must” is stronger than “have to”. “Have to” means “need to”. In other words, it is necessary but not required. “Must” implies [ほのめかす] a requirement [要件].


Affirmative examples

I must go to the dentist.

I have to go to the dentist.

I need to go to the dentist.

I must remember to buy milk.

I have to remember to buy milk.

I need to remember to buy milk.

First you must go to Immigration.

First you have to go to Immigration.

First you need to go to Immigration.

Must I read everything?

Do I have to read everything?

Do I need to read everything?


Negative examples

You must not speak so loudly. そんなに大声で話してはいけません。

You don’t have to speak so loudly. 大声で話す必要はありません。

You don’t need to speak so loudly. 大声で話す必要はありません。

I must not forget to renew my driver’s license.

I have to / need to remember to renew my driver’s license.

[We cannot say, “I don’t have to forget…” because that would have the opposite meaning of “it would be OK to forget”.]

The children must not go to the park alone.

[This is a strong command or requirement, so have to / need to cannot be used because to use them would change the meaning just like in the previous example.]

Must can also be used as a noun meaning “requirement”.

Example: “That is a must.”

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