Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Language Peeves - "I've got to" vs "I have to"

From a reader -

I would like to hear your take on people saying, "I've got to..." rather than "I have to..."

The comparison here is between two phrases with the modal verb "have" that are almost identical semantically.

Both "I have got to" and "I have to" are used to indicate an obligation that has been imposed upon the speaker by another person (if the speaker was talking about a self-imposed obligation, the modal "must" would be used).

Both phrases are grammatically correct and the only real difference is the formality. "I have got to" is generally considered less formal than "I have to."

5 comments:

Prashant Mehta said...

isn't the difference in the meanings of the two phrases? I think "i have got to" is stronger than "i have to". In the "got" version, the urgency of the situation is more. This is what my perception is. Is it correct?

Wordacious said...

I agree with your perception, though I don't think that there is a definitive difference between the two. If anything, there could be a dialectical difference.

OHN said...

Hey..I need your help. I just got called out by a supervisor telling me that I was not correct in my thought of how a line should be transcribed...please read these and let me know which is correct and why, so I can nanananana to her.

The patient presented to the Emergency Department....

The patient presented to the emergency department.....

OR~~

he was seen in radiology.....

he was seen in Radiology....

I will be forever in your debt :)

Wordacious said...

I am honored that you would come to me and trust me with this question. I think it is a matter of style (as opposed to a definite right or wrong) and my style guide says not to use the caps unless "emergency department" and "radiology" are directly connected to the hospital name.

Seattle Grace Emergency Department
vs
emergency department

Hope this helps.

Wordacious said...

P.S. You owe me nothing. Thanks for reading and supporting.

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