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Table of contents Chapter 20 20.2.6 tener que und deber in an attitude

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Chapter 20: Modal verbs (Auxiliaries)

  20.2.6 tener que or deber expressing an attitude

When using deber to express an attitude the question is how the persons attitude is towards the issue.

I liked the book so much I had to read it again right away. Nobody is actually forcing it on me but I really had to do it. It was my inner attitude that made me do it.

In Spanish there are two possibilities. Testing with Google we found a slight preference for tener que.

  The sentence "tienes que leerlo" is found 144 times in Google.

Si te atreves a encarar la verdad a pesar de la incomodidad, tienes que leerlo.
= If you dare to face the truth how uncomfortable it might be you have to read it.

Un día estaba en mi casa y mi hija me mostro el libro y me dijo "Papá este libro es genial tienes que leerlo" y yo le contesté "no, son libros para chicos" pero con el tiempo todos en su escuela los estaban leyendo y dije "Bueno, voy a leerlos! y cuando terminé dije, es genial tengo que hacer una pelicula sobre esto.
= One day I was home and my daughter showed me a book and said: "Dad, this book is great you have to read it" and I answered "No, these are books for children" but with the time everyone in her school had been reading them and I said: "Good, I will read them!" and when I finished I said it's great I have to make a film about this.


  The sentence "debes leerlo" is found 87 times in Google.

¡Debes leerlo para saber si es lo que buscas!
= You have to read it to know if it is what you look for.
El contrato es un documento legal, debes leerlo cuidadosamente y estar seguro de que entiendes toda la información antes de firmarlo.
= The contract is a legal document, you have to read it carefully and be sure that you understand all the information before you sign it.

Let's have another example:

  The sentence "tienes que probarlo" is found 183 times in Google.

Yo le dije que en esta vida tienes que probarlo todo.
= I told him that in this live he has to try everything.
No se puede explicar lo que se siente cuando estás volando. Tienes que probarlo.
= It's impossible to explain what you feel when you are flying. You have to try it.


  The sentence "debes probarlo" is found 139 times in Google.

Debes probarlo para saberlo con certeza y poder decirle al mundo sin esconderte ¡ Si, soy gay!. .
= You have to try it to know with certainty and that you can tell the world without hiding. Yes, I'm gay.
Existe un ODBC que funciona en Win95/NT pero debes probarlo en W2K.
= There is an ODBC interface that works with Win95/NT but you have to test it on Windows 2000.


So, you see. Actually you can do both when talking about the inner attitude. But if you want to do it the easy way just do it as in English: with tener que.

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