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You should do it.

You have to do it.

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

marked as duplicate by AndyT, user140086, BladorthinTheGrey, tchrist Dec 23 '16 at 11:45

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  • 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

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").


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.

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