November 30

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Get to vs. Have got to

 

Hi everyone, you’re listening to Cambridge Exam Coach, a podcast for people who want to improve their English.

I’m Kristian, your host, and in this episode we’re talking about the difference between ‘get to’ and ‘have got to’.

Do you know that classic song ‘One’ by U2? Bono sings ‘One life, but we’re not the same, we get to carry each other.’

Some people mishear these lyrics. They hear, ‘We’ve (we have) got to carry each other.’

But that’s wrong. That’s not what Bono sings and it’s definitely not the message he wants to convey.

There’s actually a massive difference between ‘get to’ and ‘have got to’.

When we use ‘get to’, we talk about opportunities in life. We get to do something. We get the opportunity to do something.

For example, ‘We get to learn English.’

Or, like Bono sings, ‘We get to carry each other.’

On the other hand, we use ‘have got to’ when we talk about obligations. It’s the same as ‘have to’.

For example, ‘You’ve got to wear a face mask in public transport.’

Or, ‘We’ve got to pay taxes.’

To sum it all up in one sentence: ‘get to’ is used to talk about opportunities and ‘have got to’ is used to talk about obligations.

So remember, you get to learn English with my podcast. I’ll never say that ‘You’ve got to learn English with my podcast.’

That’s all for today. Take care of yourself, and each other, and I’ll speak to you on the podcast soon, but for now it’s time to say bye bye!

About the author 

Kristian

Kristian is from The Netherlands, but he lives in Prague, Czechia. He is a CELTA qualified teacher who passed the Cambridge C2 Proficiency exam with grade A. When he's not working, he likes to chill out with music, podcasts or an audiobook.


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