3

Consider:

You should do it.

You have to do it.

Does should show suggestion and have to show compulsion or motivation?

  • Please do not attempt to use ˋbackticksˋ for the use–mention distinction and for quoting: they do not work like that on ELU, because they make blue fugly monospace You have to use *asterisks* to properly set something in italic here. – tchrist Aug 25 '13 at 18:43
8

You are correct...

  • "Should" is suggestive: It's most likely also optional (e.g., "you should use an umbrella when you walk in the rain, or you might get a little bit wet"), although if it were tied to a serious consequence then the "required" sentiment would be implied (sometimes a wife will give her husband a hint in this manner, but when he hears it he may recognize that it really isn't optional).

  • "Have to" is a requirement: It's not optional, and any motivation may be tied to some consequence of not doing what one has to do (e.g., "you have to breath or you will not survive").

1

Should - it will be good if you do that. Have - it will be bad if you don't do that.

I think should implies that the person has more choice in the matter.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.