Is there any difference between the following two statements:
- I have to pay bills
- I have bills to pay
Could you please tell us the difference between the above two statements and when to use them?
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Both sentences could be used as excuses for not doing something else. If a son comes to his father, for example, and asks, "Dad, can you come outside and play catch with me?" the father might say,
"Sorry, son, I have to pay bills."
"Sorry, son, I have bills to pay."
Either sentence would be appropriate in this instance.
On the other hand, your first sentence could have an urgency to it that is lacking in your second sentence.
"I have to pay bills" = "I must pay bills [or else!]"
"I have bills to pay" = "I have bills to pay [; no big deal]"
See if you can tell which of the following sentences contains an element of urgency:
"I have a meeting with Bill."
"I have to meet with Bill."
If you picked the second one, you're right. The use of "have to" usually indicates the urgent, mandatory nature of things.
In the U.S. you can pay your yearly income taxes anytime between January 1 and April 14, but you "have to" pay your taxes by April 15, unless you want to get in trouble with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)!