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They've both had to take on night-watch duties in factories.

In the sentence, I don't understand the use have had to v1. Does it mean have got to v1? Please help me with this. Thanks a lot.

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If you are asking what the difference is between two constructs ('have had to' and 'have got to'), then one takes place in the past and one in an indeterminate time (present/future). For example,

  • I have had to change nappies on a baby means 'at some time in the past, I was forced to change a baby's nappies'; I physically carried out this action
  • I have got to change nappies on a baby means that it is my job to change the baby's nappy but I haven't necessarily carried out this action yet.

Generally speaking, 'I have had to' implies an action which I don't like to do; I am forced to do it either by law or by agreement, but not by necessarily choice.

'I have got to' does not have the same implication; an alternative way of saying this would be 'I must do ...'. For example, 'I have got to eat lunch before 2pm'.

  • Thank you, No'am Newman. The verb "have had to take on" has been used in the present perfect tense. Is it correct? – thein lwin Feb 2 '16 at 9:08
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"Have had to" is the present perfect of "have to". So it expresses the obligation of "have to " (= "must") but puts it in the present-related past.

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