Questions with “must” and “have to”

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Forming questions in English is not always very easy because sometimes we have to change the structure of the sentence. In today’s blog post we are going to have a look at the differences in forming questions with “must” and “to have to”

How do we make questions with “must”?

“Must”, as we know, is used with obligation in English. In terms of creating a sentence with “must”, the word order is not difficult.


Subject + “must” + simple infinitive (without “to”)

When we want to change the affirmative to the interrogative form, the only thing that we have to do is invert the subject and “must”.


Must we do our homework?

Must they come for dinner?

Must I chair the meeting?

As we can see, the inversion is the only thing that changes from the structure in the affirmative.

How do we make questions with “to have to”?

Unlike “must” where we just make an inversion to create the interrogative, “to have to” is a little more difficult as it requires an auxiliary verb in the form of the present tense of “to do”.


Do/does + subject + have to + simple infinitive

We use “do” for all personal pronouns except those in the third person singular which use “does”.


Do you have to go to the supermarket later?

Does he have to buy a new car?

Do they have to work until 7 O’clock?

Let’s recap…

The most important difference to remember when forming questions with these verbs is their structure. Always note that “must” uses an inversion, whereas “to have to” takes on the relevant conjugation of the present tense of “to do”

If you would like any more information on this grammar point, sign up for free to ABA English and check out unit 55 of our complete course.

Alternatively, if you want more posts like this check them here!

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