Modal verb: “have to”

“Have to” is a modal verb used to express obligation, necessity, or requirement. We use have to + infinitive to talk about things that are necessary to do. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Affirmative Sentences:
  • I have to go to work.
  • She has to finish her homework.
  • They have to clean the house.
  1. Negative Sentences:
  • I don’t have to attend the meeting.
  • She doesn’t have to cook tonight.
  • They don’t have to worry about it.
  1. Questions:
  • Do you have to leave now?
  • Does he have to take the bus?
  • Do they have to study for the test?

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Remember, “have to” expresses a stronger obligation than “should” or “ought to.” It indicates that something is necessary or required, often due to external circumstances or rules.

You can use “have to” to talk about obligations, things that are necessary to do. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:


  • “Have to” is followed by the base verb (without “to”).
  • It’s conjugated like a regular verb, so it changes depending on the tense (past, present, future) and person (I, you, he/she/it, we, they).


  • Present: I have to finish this report by tomorrow. (obligation)
  • Past: She had to work late last night. (necessity)
  • Future: We will have to take the bus if the train is cancelled. (possibility)


  • Use “don’t have to” or “doesn’t have to” to negate the obligation.
  • They don’t have to wear a uniform at school. (absence of obligation)


  • Use “do/does” before “have to” to form questions.
  • Do you have to leave early today?

Must vs. Have to:

  • “Have to” often refers to external obligations, rules, or circumstances.
  • “Must” can also express obligation, but it can also be a strong personal belief about what needs to be done.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Check out this post! Modal verb: Should.

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