Tag Archives: must

got, got to, gotta

Verb: get/got (past)

have = have got

I’ve got my wallet = I have my wallet

In spoken english we often say:

I got my wallet

I’ve got to go = I have to go = je dois aller/il faut que j’y ailles

When contracted it becomes:

I gotta go

He’s gotta go
she’s gotta go


Il est imperatif que vous compreniez ces tournures. Je ne vous conseille pas de les utiliser dans vos conversations, mais sachez qu’elles existent (même si on les trouve pas dans les dictionnaires), et qu’elles sont très répandues, non seulement chez les américains, mais partout!

More of Paul’s excellent videos at his site: learnamericanenglishonline.com

must – probability

Paul explains in the video how the modal verb ‘must’ can used to express probability, as well as obligation.
In this respect, ‘must’ has similar applications to the French verb ‘devoir’.

Devoir/must is obligation in this sentence:
‘Tu dois payer tes impots’ – you must pay your taxes

Devoir/must is probablility in this sentence:
‘tu n’as pas dormi? Tu dois être fatigué!’ – You didn’t sleep? You must be tired!

have to / don’t have to

As we saw in my last lesson, have to and must are used for an obligation.

The opposite of obligation is prohibition

You must go now (tu dois aller maintenant) = obligation

You mustn’t go now (tu ne dois pas aller maintenant = prohibition

But ‘don’t have to’ is NOT the opposite of ‘have to’

don’t have to is used to show the absence of obligation, in other words, ‘you can if you want, but you are not obliged

here are the concepts:

Necessary? –> yes –> obligation –> you must, you have to
Necessary? –> no –> no obligation –> you don’t have to

Allowed? –> yes –> permission –> you can
allowed? –> no –> prohibition –> you mustn’t/ you can’t

have to, don’t have to, modal auxiliaries

something very difficult to master in English, especially for French speakers, is the concept of modal verbs.

must / have to

These two express obligation. Is there a difference between the two?
While most English speakers use either for any situation, it can be said that ‘must’ is used for a

moral or a internal obligation:

I must call my mother tonight

you must come and have dinner with us

‘Have to’ can be used for external obligations, things that we might not necessarily agree with:

I have to pay my car insurance

You have to go to work on Sunday