have (got) to

Collocations with “have to” on the COCA corpus 9 tokens left and right of this are:

1 WORRY (VVI ) 4009
2 CAREFUL (JJ ) 2155
3 ADMIT (VVI ) 1572
4 VIGILANT (JJ ) 176
5 RELEARN (VVI ) 33

One can guess there is a generally negative tone to this grammar structure from the above verbs and adjectives.
It is also much more represented than “have got to”:

1 KIDDING (VVG ) 46
2 CAREFUL (JJ ) 25

If we then take our most common collocation “have to worry” and search on the NOW corpus with 4 tokens left and right:

1 N’T (XX ) 16710
2 ABOUT (II_RP@ ) 1323
3 DO (VD0 ) 11437
4 ABOUT (II ) 9926
5 WO (VM ) 2287
6 DID (VDD ) 2142
7 DOES (VDZ ) 1593
8 NEVER (RR ) 1446
9 GETTING (VVG ) 782
10 LONGER (RR22 ) 552

We see that negation ranks highly, but seems to be reassuring.

This a collection across the levels of A2-C2 where this grammar item appears with the English Grammar Profile examples colour-coded.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.