Grammar | Necessity & Prohibition

Audio Episode

What is this episode about?

Learn how to express necessity, lack of necessity and prohibition in this new Grammar episode from English Plus Podcast.

Support on Patreon



I am using an automatic transcript service as it is not possible for me to do it on my own and I cannot afford human transcription at the moment. The service claims to have about 95% accuracy, which means there will still be some mistakes, so my apologies for having a less than perfect transcript, but I hope I can afford human transcription soon and I will solve this problem. However, the service is pretty good, and the transcript is almost perfect.


Welcome to a new episode from English plus podcast. Today’s episode is about grammar and we will talk about necessity, the lack of necessity and privation, how we can express these in English using must have too, or have got to. So without further ado, let’s start with our very first point that we want to talk about.

[00:00:29] And that is the use of must or have to, is there a difference between saying, for example, all applicants must take an entrance exam or. All applicants have to take an entrance exam. What is the difference between these two? Well, most then have to both express necessity. The meaning is the same here. If you say all applicants must take an entrance exam or have to take an interest exam.

[00:00:54] There’s no actual difference. Both express necessity. It is necessary for every applicant to take an entrance exam. There is no other choice. The exam is required. If this is the meaning you can use either must or have to. Well, obviously I’m not saying that there is absolutely no difference or at least there is no difference in.

[00:01:19] Where we usually use must and we don’t use half to and where we usually use have to more than we use must we will talk about that next. Not in statements of necessity have to, is used more frequently in everyday space and writing then must for example, when we say I’m looking for Sue, I have to talk to her about our lunch date tomorrow.

[00:01:42] I can’t meet her for lunch because I have to go to a business meeting at one o’clock well, for this everyday speech, or even writing have to is used more than must. Must is typically stronger than half to an indicates urgency or importance. Even more than half to must is usually found in rules, written instructions or legal information.

[00:02:06] Take a look at this example, cell phones must be in your backpacks during class. That is a rule. And here using must makes the sentence sounds more important or stronger than just using half. Two cell phones have to be in your backpacks during class. Most here is preferable. So again, I am not saying that have to hear is wrong.

[00:02:28] No, it’s not wrong. Of course must and have two are interchangeable. There is no difference grammatically. They both express necessity, but we’re just talking about where we prefer to use most and where we prefer to use half too. Let’s take a look at another example, Johnny, you must stay away from the stove.

[00:02:47] It is very hot. Now adults usually use must when talking to young children about rules, like in this example, but saying that I have to note out that have to, is commonly used in questions and not must again. We’re not saying that must cannot be used in questions. Of course it can, but it’s not that natural and it’s so formal to use it in questions.

[00:03:11] For example, do you have to leave. Oh, of course you can say, must you leave. That’s correct. Nobody uses that unless it is very formal. Usually you say, do you have believe, do you have to go, do you have to do this, et cetera? Now let’s talk about, have to enhance too and how they are pronounced in English, especially by native speakers.

[00:03:34] Now, native speakers often say half to and has to, so they don’t say I have to be home by eight. They say I have to. So you might hear Haftar and hasta and kind of wonder what that means. Well, actually it has have to, or has to, like, when we say I have to be at home by eight, I have to, or he has to go to a meeting tonight.

[00:03:58] He has to, but of course you don’t have to pronounce it this way, yourselves. I’m just saying that if you hear something like that, just know that this has have to, or has to. Now let’s move on and talk about another expression or another way to express necessity. And that is related to have to, but that is when we say you have got to, when I say, I have got to go, now I have a class in 10 minutes, or I have to go now I have a class in 10 minutes.

[00:04:26] Now, what is the difference have got to also expresses the idea of necessity. And of course, when I say I have got to go now, or I have to go now, that’s just the same meaning, but have got to is informal and is used primarily in spoken English have to, is used both in formal and informal English. Andrew member have to is more common in questions.

[00:04:52] Usually we use it even more than have you got two. Okay. We say, do you have to go now? Not have you got to go now? It’s not wrong. Or must you go now? All you need to remember is that we used to have two more in questions, but again, the difference between have got two and have two is. Simply that have got to is more informal.

[00:05:13] And the usual pronunciation of gut too, is Ghada. People usually say that when they say I have got to go, they don’t usually say that. Especially spoken English. They say, I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to go means I’ve got to go. It’s the same thing. Now again, you don’t have to say it this way, but at least if somebody says it this way, you need to understand they’re talking about gut too.

[00:05:37] Okay. So now that we’ve talked about necessity, let us talk about lack of necessity and privation. And here, remember when we talked about expressing necessity, we talked about both have to and must. And we said that they both have the same meaning grammatically, but yeah, we use must in more formal situations, we use have to both informal and informal in questions we use have to et cetera.

[00:06:01] We talked about all that, but if we use have to and must in negative. The meaning is completely different. If we use half to in negative. The meaning is lack of necessity. But when we use must in negative, the meaning is prohibition. Let me give you a couple of examples. Let’s start with half too. The negative tomorrow is a holiday.

[00:06:23] We don’t have to go to class. I can hear you. You don’t have to shout. So what does it mean? Are we talking about pride mission? You don’t have to go. That means you can go, even if you want to, because it’s not permitted. It is prohibited. No. The meaning here. It is not necessary. There is a lack of necessity.

[00:06:44] When you want to express lack of necessity in English, you can use half to in negative. Of course you can say don’t have to, or doesn’t have to. Now here, when we use it in negative negative form of half to the meaning is that we don’t need to go to class tomorrow. Tomorrow’s a holiday. We don’t need to go to class tomorrow.

[00:07:03] It’s not necessary, but if we want to go, we can. If you want to go after all that. Yeah. You can do that. There’s no problem, but it’s not necessary. Now. Say, for example, I want to help you. You’re doing something and I want to help you. And then you say to me, you don’t have to help me. I got it. I got this. I can do it by myself.

[00:07:22] You don’t have to help me. That doesn’t mean that you can’t help me. Well, if you insist, yeah, you can help me. You’re welcome to help me if you want to, but you don’t have to. There is no necessity. There is a lack of necessity and that is not the same when we use must not. Yes, they have the same meaning in affirmative, but they have completely different meaning and negative.

[00:07:46] When we say must not. The meaning is totally different. When I say you must not tell anyone my secret. Do you promise that is not about you don’t have to, you don’t have to. Well, if you tell the secret, then I won’t be angry, but you know, it was not necessary. No here. I want to say you must not tell anyone my secret, the meaning here is prohibition.

[00:08:08] Do not do this. The meaning here, do not tell anyone my secret. I forbid it telling anyone my secret is prohibited. I’m talking about prohibition and no, since we talked about prohibition and must not, which is very strong speakers, usually express prohibition with imperatives rather than they use must not because must not, is very strong.

[00:08:30] So they may say, don’t tell anyone my secret. Now don’t tell anyone that’s also prohibition, but it’s not as strong as you must not. You must not as very strong. Sometimes it’s too strong and people get offended when you talk to them this way. So you might say, don’t tell don’t tell is direct. Don’t tell is about prohibition as well, but it’s a little bit less strong or people can use other models.

[00:08:54] For example, you can say you can’t tell anyone my secret or you’d better not. Tell anyone my secret, Oh, you shouldn’t tell anyone my secret that is not as strong as must not. And here it’s up to you to decide which one you want to use based on the situation. And of course we will talk about can’t and you’d better not in other grammar episodes down the line.

[00:09:15] Now, with that being said, that’ll be all I wanted to share with you about expressing necessity. Lack of necessity. And prohibition in English in this new grammar episode from English plus podcast. Let me remind you that you can find more content on our website, English plus We have interactive activities, PDF downloadable worksheet.

[00:09:35] The show knows you have a lot of things to help you practice the things we’re learning in the podcast here. So there is a link in the description of the episode, take the link, go to our website and take your English with it to the next level. And if you like the content we’re creating and you would like to support us.

[00:09:51] There’s also another link that will take you to our Patrion page, take the link, become our patron and help us grow more, reach more people and create more content. But that being said, this is your host, Danny. Thank you very much for listening to another episode from English plus podcast. I will see you next time.

Become a patron at Patreon!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

<a href="" target="_self">English Plus</a>

English Plus


English Plus Podcast is dedicated to bring you the most interesting, engaging and informative daily dose of English and knowledge. So, if you want to take your English and knowledge to the next level, look no further. Our dedicated content creation team has got you covered!

You may also Like

Recent Posts


Follow Us

Pin It on Pinterest