have to

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • hafta (informal, nonstandard)

Pronunciation[edit]

Phrase[edit]

have to

  1. Must; need to; to be required to. Indicates obligation.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in The Celebrity:
      I was about to say that I had known the Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I see I will have to amend that, because he was not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve fame until some time after I left New York for the West.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, “Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame.
    I just have to have that shirt;  you have to wear a seat belt
  2. (with be) Must (logical conclusion).
    that has to be the postman;  it has to be an electrical fault

Usage notes[edit]

have to is always followed by a bare infinitive verb, unless the verb is assumed:

I don't want to go to school, but I have to.

Synonyms[edit]

("obligation"):

("logical conclusion"):

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also[edit]