To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

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ave_matthew
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To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ave_matthew » Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:56 pm UTC

Ok, so in English there are several ways to express need.
like, I need to get a drink.
I must get a drink.
I have got to get a drink.
I have to get a drink.
So I under stand the "to have to", seeing as how Spanish(Tener que hacer) and French(avoir besoin de faire) sorta do it that way too, but where does "must" come in to it, and what the hell does the "got" do in "I've gotta get a drink. ~ I have got to get a drink".
So if someone very familiar with English could explain where the hell this is comin' from, i t would be greatly appreciated. My first language is English, my Second is French and I can understand Spanish+Esperanto (I could get a hold of it in Cree too most likely, with a dictionary) for the most part, so analogies/extentions work out fine, I just don't get the logic here.
Thanks.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Fargren » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:20 pm UTC

As I understand it, "got" is used to express need, and "must" is used to express obligation, generally more influenced by specific outside entities. They are mostly interchangeable, as far as I know, but their values are a bit different.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Dingbats » Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:58 pm UTC

"I've got to" isn't really different from "I have to", since "have got" means the same thing as "have".

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Cosmologicon » Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

The "have to" thing in English always struck me as confusing. "I have to mail a letter" and "I need to mail a letter" are the same, but "I have a stamp" and "I need a stamp" are opposites. Go fig.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:04 am UTC

I don't think it's any more confusing than any of the number of other cases in which a verb's meaning is different depending on the linguistic environment surrounding it. Whether it precedes another verb or a noun, for instance. Or whether it follows "to be" or some other verb. (For instance, "I am reading" uses the word "reading" very differently from the sentence, "His reading of the contract is more accurate than yours.")
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Justinlrb » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:35 pm UTC

I'd say "I('ve) gotta get a drink" expresses desire or internal need.
Note "?I('ve) gotta get a drink for my brother" is a little strange.
Whereas "I have to get a drink" is either a strong or external need.
"I have to get a drink for my brother" perfectly normal.
meanwhile it isn't really possible to say "*I must get a drink" (at least in my dialect)
but it is possible to say "you must try this drink" or "you must get yourself a drink" (although both sound a little dialect exterior)
leading me to believe that at least in standard midwestern "must do" expresses strong suggestion or good idea.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ave_matthew » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:41 pm UTC

I just though of something, Is the difference between to have to and to have to get is one is with a verb and one with a noun?

Does anyone have any idea why this is
Dingbats wrote:"have got" means the same thing as "have".
What's with the got then?
And then "must" is more important than "to have to" and the contraction makes the need internal? Sound right? I'm from southern Manitoba by the way, for dialectal purposes.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby lindenosk » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:51 am UTC

Justinlrb wrote:Whereas "I have to get a drink" is either a strong or external need.

Where i live we wouldn't say "I have to get a drink" unless we were being over formal.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby lowbart » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:20 pm UTC

One thing that really bothers me is when people use "are" instead of "have", to sound more formal or something.

"You are to fill out these forms and return them to me."

"You are not to ask frivolous questions."

To me, it just sounds pretentious and aggravating.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ghyspran » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:30 am UTC

It seems to me that the construction "have got to do" is simply an informal way of adding emphasis to "have to do", which could be accomplished in Spanish by saying "yo tengo que hacer" instead of just "tengo que hacer", although it isn't quite the same. "Must do" usually implies an outside force, although not necessarily, and is equivalent in construct and roughly equivalent in meaning to "debo hacer" in Spanish, but they not exactly alike. Of course, these are pretty much random musings, so don't take anything I say as law.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Ari » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:16 am UTC

Dingbats wrote:"I've got to" isn't really different from "I have to", since "have got" means the same thing as "have".


Uh, negative on that. "Have to" can stand in for either "must" or "got to", in my experience, but the other two tend to have more specific meanings and aren't always interchangeable.

These are to verbs exactly what noun-phrases are to nouns, essentially, and they're not usually exactly analogous in comparative use to "got" and "have". (I always like to think of them as separable verbs like in German ;) )
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby lowbart » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:30 pm UTC

Ari, can you provide some examples?
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby shivasprogeny » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:38 pm UTC

Interestingly I can I say "I got to go to Florida" expressing permission or ability to do something, or I can say "I['ve] got to go to Florida" expressing an obligation. It depends on context and tone of voice.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby Vorpal Blade » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:34 am UTC

Formally, they all mean different things. "Must" implies obligation (i.e. "you must do this thing for me"). "Have to" can be used many different ways, such as one of the English versions of simple future tense (i.e. "I have to do something"); when used in this manner, it always precedes an action meant to occur later. "Got" isn't really used formally at all...no help there.

Colloquially, they all mean the same thing. In fact, I can't recall the last time I heard someone use the word must except in an imperative form (i.e. "You must finish your vegetables!"). Sorry, that's just the English language for you, it's not about efficiency. We have so many words that all mean the same thing... Hell, we even have words which serve as their own antonyms.

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby rrwoods » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:16 pm UTC

To me it seems like "must" implies that the following action is a means to a [possibly implied] end. "I must go to the store [in order to pick up groceries]." Usually the action is a means to an end anyway, but the word "must" places a little more emphasis on that process, for me at least.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:45 pm UTC

Vorpal Blade wrote:"Have to" can be used many different ways, such as one of the English versions of simple future tense

Really? I've never seen it used that way, I don't think. It seems to always add a sense of obligation that simply isn't there with the "will" and "going to" constructions for future actions.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ave_matthew » Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:52 am UTC

I didn't think english had a simple future like other languages, don't we just have tense markers for the future.
cause will and shall are not conjugations of any verb I can think of, they're just tense markers no?
and I have to go get a drink implies you will go get a drink, but it's a present tense verb expressing a present need, and only implicating a future action. So to have to can't be the simple future since it is in the present tense and has no future tense marker.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:54 pm UTC

Yeah, we just use tense markers, like "will" and "going to" and (far less commonly) "shall". It's worth noting that "will" and "shall" used to be verbs in their own rights, but like all of the modern modal auxiliaries, they eventually became more restricted in both form and meaning, to the point where now they cannot appear on their own and they don't have as many forms as main verbs do. (One can still think of 'would' as a sort of past/subjunctive/conditional of 'will', and similarly for could/can and should/shall, though.)
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ave_matthew » Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:08 pm UTC

I hadn't thought of that, I just though they had always been markers. But you're right, if you think about it in that way.
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby AdamV » Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:47 am UTC

There are very few cases where you need to use "got" except as the past tense of "get" (I got out of bed...)
Almost always it can be replaced with a less ambiguous word or phrase which is also easier to translate accurately into other languages:
I was allowed to travel to Florida
I must do my homework
I should feed my goldfish
I caught measles

This certainly helps with translating to/from German where they use terms of need/obligation more precisely.
My Dad would always annoy us by replying to questions such as "can I [watch TV]" with "yes you can, but no you may not". Ability and permission are different, just as desire and obligation are separate. Using "may" in it's proper place helps understand both the question and the answer
In German "Ich muss..." is "I must" = "I am obliged to", and the negative form "Ich muss nicht" therefore means "I am not obliged to, although I may if I wish". On the other hand, "Du darfst..." = "You may" so "Du darfst nicht" means "you may not" (you are not allowed to).
The English equivalent phrase "you must" / "you must not" cause confusion (to some non-native speakers) because this sounds like "you are not obliged to" when we mean "you are obliged not to"

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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby ave_matthew » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

Yeah, I agree strongly that english is ambiguos, but mostly only spoken english has these ambiguities (If you right properly you remove most ambiuity that you didn't intend)
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby zahlman » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:04 pm UTC

Cosmologicon wrote:The "have to" thing in English always struck me as confusing. "I have to mail a letter" and "I need to mail a letter" are the same, but "I have a stamp" and "I need a stamp" are opposites. Go fig.


At least in my dialect, the "have" in "I have to mail a letter" is pronounced differently from the "have" in "I have a stamp" (In the first it's pronounced like half; in the second like halve).
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Re: To have to ~ Must, Got? what's up here?

Postby 4=5 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:02 am UTC

I always saw "haffto" as counting as one word rather different from have


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