You gotta, have got to, have to and must read this.

UnclesamwantyouOne might think that “have got to” (or its famous version “gotta”), “must” and “have to” can be used interchangeably, that is, whenever one wants. And that’s not accurate.

In this post, I explain these differences as well as I recommend a great video to help you even more!

 

have got to (gotta)

Examples:

  • I have got to read more. (present, affirmative)
  • I gotta read more. (informal, present, affirmative)

Remarks:

  • can only be used in the present tense
  • can only be used in affirmative sentences
  • “gotta” is a contraction of “have got to”, is not acceptable in standard use according to the OAED and is considered informal by the OED (British).

have to

Examples:

  • I have to read more. (present, affirmative)
  • Do I have to read more? (present, interrogative)
  • I don’t have to read more. (present, negative)
  • I’ll have to read more. (future, affirmative)
  • I had to read a lot before the meeting. (past, affirmative)

Remarks:

  • can be used in any tense
  • can be used in affirmative, negative and interrogative sentences
  • it’s the most versatile

must

Examples:

  • We must read more, said the president. (present, affirmative)
  • We mustn’t stop reading. (present, negative)
  • Must we stop reading? (present, interrogative)

Remarks:

  • can only be used in the present tense
  • can be used in affirmative, negative and interrogative sentences
  • very formal; used when writing or by a person who is in a higher position of a hierarchy.
  • in reported speech stays the same
  • to change it to the past, use “had to”

I don’t know about you but I learn easily by reading and watching videos.
That’s why I found another great video to share with you, my dear readers.

This one is by Alex from engVid, whose videos have helped me a lot.