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pash
09-22-2006, 08:10 PM
Hi. Just let me know if this is not the right kind of question for this forum.

If you wanted to express outside/external/societal obligation, below, which sentence in each pair would you choose?

Pair 1.

a. My children must eat an apple after their meals.

b. My children have to eat an apple after their meals.

…………

Pair 2.

a. My children must eat an apple after their meals.

b. My children are having to eat an apple after their meals.

wordmonkey
09-22-2006, 08:59 PM
Pair 1.

a. My children must eat an apple after their meals. .

There's an imperative emphasis on this sentence. This seems like there is little, if any room for debate here. This comes off almost lke a medical requirement, all that's missing is a... "or they'll turn into pumpkins at midnight!"


b. My children have to eat an apple after their meals. .

This seems like a rule you are setting. Comes off as more of a preference set by a parent than a need for their well-being.


Pair 2.

a. My children must eat an apple after their meals. .

See above.


b. My children are having to eat an apple after their meals.

Basically the same as above, but you've made it the present tense so it's more active. The children are actively doing this now.

I'm guessing that didn't help much, because all it did was analyze the sentences. It basically depends on the context.

pdr
09-23-2006, 05:37 AM
I wouldn't use either.

I'd say something like:

'I expect my children to eat an apple after their meals.'

newmod
09-23-2006, 10:45 AM
Often in British English must is used to express an internal or self-imposed obligation "I must remember to go to the supermarket."

Have to is often used to express external obligation, such as the law, e.g. "You have to be 18 to vote."

They are, however, frequently used interchangeably.

Just another thing for you to consider.

pash
09-24-2006, 01:25 AM
<They are, however, frequently used interchangeably>

Yes, when they are being used epistemically, I see very little difference between them, but when they are deontic, I see that internal external split, all the time.

pash
09-24-2006, 02:34 AM
I wouldn't use either.

I'd say something like:

'I expect my children to eat an apple after their meals.'

I see. Thanks.

pash
09-24-2006, 02:35 AM
Thanks, wordmonkey. It has helped.

pdr
09-24-2006, 03:05 PM
Sorry about that. You were being purely grammatical and I was thinking in writer's mode.

Your two examples made the writer in me squirm.

pash
09-24-2006, 05:57 PM
Sorry about that. You were being purely grammatical and I was thinking in writer's mode.

Your two examples made the writer in me squirm.

Sorry. Try these real-life, highly topical, examples instead.

If you wanted to express outside/external/societal obligation, below, which sentence/s would you choose?

As autumn approaches, those of us with children have to leave the relaxed, informal and often cold and damp...

As autumn approaches, those of us with children must leave the relaxed, informal and often cold and damp...

As autumn approaches, those of us with children are having to leave the relaxed, informal and often cold and damp...