Lesson 34: HAVE TO/ NEED TO/ NEEDN'T

We use these verbs to talk about necessity.

Formation

HAVE TO/ NEED TO

We can make all verb formations with these verbs. For example:

Present simple (Lesson 19)
He has to work nine hours a day, but he doesn't have to work very hard.
Let's stop. We don't need to finish today.

Past simple (Lesson 21)
Did they have to go out?
Yes, they had to go to the airport.
I needed to buy a number of things, but I didn't have enough money.

Present perfect (Lesson 24)
She has had to stay behind to look after the children.

With modal verbs (Lesson 27)
I may have to go to Winnipeg soon.
If she takes that job, they will need to move to another city.

NOTICE: We always use base form (Lesson 14) after to. We say he had to go (NOT he had to went).

needn't is a modal verb (Lesson 27)

EXAMPLE: We needn't finish today.


Use: necessity

GENERAL

EXAMPLES:
Students don't usually have to pay tax.
You need to get a visa before you travel.

PRESENT AND FUTURE TIME

EXAMPLES:
I have to finish this report today.
We can't find a babysitter; we'll have to stay in tonight.
You needn't write it now. You can do it later.

NOTICE: We also use have got to for present and future necessity (Lesson 36).

PAST TIME

EXAMPLES:
There were no buses. I had to get a taxi.
He said that they had to go.

NOTICE: The meanings of have to, need to and needn't are not exactly the same (Lesson 35).


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