Is it appropriate to use have to in formal writing? I've seen a number of posts about the meaning of that phrase but none regarding whether it is appropriate compared to alternatives.

EDIT: Here's an example of the usage I was thinking of:

"whether the purchaser will have to pay homeowners’ insurance and taxes"

By "formal writing," I was thinking of academic or scholarly publications.

  • 1
    Please define "formal writing"
    – Jim
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:11
  • Are you asking about the usage of have to in the sense of must, or as in the expressions have to do with (pertain to) or have to say (be prepared to offer into conversation)--or what? Your two words occur in that order in many different kinds of contexts. Sep 9, 2015 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


"have to" is a perfect word to use in formal writings and you can use it in any of your academic/scholarly publications, unless you use something like "hafta".

Check out these 3,780,000 results from Google Scholar with search phrase "have to".

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