How to use MUST?

How to use MUST? :

MUST, HAVE TO and OUGHT TO, like SHOULD, are used to express obligation or duty.

I must get up at five tomorrow.

You have to catch the first train.

We ought to respect our teachers.

HAVE GOT TO may be used in stead of HAVE TO in conversation.

I‘ve got to go now.

MUST and OUGHT TO have no past forms.

Past obligation is usually expressed by HAD TO.

I had to get up at five this morning.

He had to cook his own meals when his wife was away.

There is a slight difference in meaning between MUST and HAVE TO. It would be useful to note the difference. MUST is preferred if the obligation comes from the speaker. HAVE TO is used to suggest that the obligation comes from somewhere else.

You must come to the office at fine tomorrow. (This is an order from me. I want you to come at nine.)

You have to come to the office at nine tomorrow. (The boss requires you to come at nine.)

I must try to lose weight. (It is my own idea)

I have to try to lose weight. (The doctor has told me to lose weight)

OUGHT TO mainly expresses moral obligations. It says what would be good for somebody.

You ought to help her.

I ought to give up smoking.

NEED is normally used in questions and negatives.

Need I come again? (Is it necessary for me to come again?)

You needn’t do it now. (It isn’t necessary for you to do it now.)

The negative forms MUSTN’T and NEEDN’T have quite different meanings. We use MUSTN’T to say that something is not allowed, that there is necessity not to do it. We used NEEDN’T to say that there is no necessity to do something.

You mustn’t go there. (Don’t go there.)

You needn’t go there. (You can if you like but there is not necessity.)

We may use DON’T HAVE TO (or HAVEN’T GOT TO) instead of NEEDN’T. But NEEDN’T is more usual.

In the above examples, NEED is used as a special verb and had no –s and -ed forms.

NEED may also be used, like an ordinary verb, with do, does, did.

Do I need to come again?

He doesn’t need to go to the post office.

I didn’t need to buy the book.

Look at the last example again and compare.

I didn’t need to buy the book (It was not necessary for me to buy the book and I didn’t buy it)

I needn’t have bought the book. (It was not necessary for me to buy the book but I bought it.)

Note that MUST and OUGHT TO are also used to express strong probability.

He must be seventy now.

She started at four so she ought to be in Bangalore by now.

Business English Index

Business English Exercises Index

How to use MUST?

Letter Asking A Donation
Letter Asking A Favor
Letter Asking for More Details
Letter Asking for Donations
Letter Denying of Dealership
Letter for Change of Address
Letter for Distributorship
Letter for Employment
Letter for Hotel Reservation
Letter for Letter of Credit
Letter for Line of Credit
Letter for Product Launch
Letter for Promotion
Letter for Retirement Congrats
Letter for Scholarship
Letter for Settlement of Bill
Letter for Tender
Letter for Testimonial
Letter of Agreement
Letter of Assurance
Letter of Credit
Letter of Enquiry
Letter of Order
Letter of Persuasion
Letter of Sympathy
Letter Offering Discount
Letter Related to Advertisement
Letter Related to Despatch
Letter Related to Training
Letter to A Foreign Buyer
Letter to Pen-Friend
Letter to Police
Letter with Order
Letter with Quotation
Letter Writing
Letters about Company Shares
Letters by Clubs and Societies
Letters by Landlords & Tenants
Letters for Appointment of Dealers
Letters for Business Relations
Letters for Buying and Selling
Letters for Credit & Collection
Letters for Foreign Travel
Letters for Lease & Tenancy
Letters for Loan & Borrowing
Letters for Transfer & Assignment
Letters for Insurance
Letters Noting Discrepancy
Letters of Condolence & Sorrow
Letters of Regret
Letters Regarding Maintenance
Letters Regarding Payment
Letters Related to Employees
Letters to Local Corporation
Letters to Postal Authorities
Letters to The Editor
Letters Used in Real Estate
Letters With Postal Department
Letters With Railways Authorities

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