1

I do not have to wait for bus.

Which one does it mean?

  • I am under obligation (e.g. to leave the bus station and go and) not to wait for the bus.

  • I am under no obligation to wait for bus and I am free to choose waiting or not.

If the answer is the first, then it will be equal to

I must not wait for bus.

and if not it means that "must" and "have to" are similar in positive meaning but different after negation.

9
  • If you read the answer of @StoneyB to the question you linked to, you would have learned that have to is really one word (or one lexical unit) and it expresses obligation. So your first sentence still means 'I am under no obligation to wait for the bus (and I am free to choose whether to wait or not)'. I hope that helps.
    – user6951
    Mar 15, 2015 at 10:17
  • In addition, 'I have to do something' expresses external obligation. (I have to go to work, but I don't want to). And 'I need to do something' expresses internal obligation or compulsion. (basically, I need to and I want to).
    – user6951
    Mar 15, 2015 at 10:20
  • @δοῦλος Of course I know and knew that 'have to' is not a normal auxiliary verb and I also deal with it like a one-word verb (like 'must' which is a one-word obligation auxiliary verb). But the point is: like 'must not', "do not have to" doesn't seem to have the second sentence meaning.
    – hossayni
    Mar 15, 2015 at 10:34
  • Trust me, it means the second! Let's try this again: I do not have to equals I am under no obligation or compulsion to. Therefore you simply substitute I am under no obligation to for I do not have to in your first sentence. The result is 'I am under no obligation to wait for the bus.' (Therefore, I am free to walk away and take the train or a taxi or walk or swim...)
    – user6951
    Mar 15, 2015 at 10:46
  • I must not wait for the bus means I am under obligation to not wait for the bus. To express this with have to, it would be the unusual I have to not wait for the bus. (I must leave here.)
    – user6951
    Mar 15, 2015 at 10:48

2 Answers 2

1

In view of the comments, it's the second sentence (I am not forced to wait for a bus) that is near in meaning to the sentence "I don't have to wait for a bus".

1

I do not have to wait for a bus.

Without additional context, this sentence could mean any of the following things:

I have a car. I don't have to take the bus.

The bus is reliable and arrives frequently. I don't have to wait and wait and wait for it to arrive.

I can leave this bus stop at any time. No one is forcing me to be here.

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