You gotta be (song)

The other day in class we revised the different uses of the verb HAVE in English. As you may remember, the verb have, among other functions, can be used to speak about possession, relationships and other states, and also to talk about actions and experiences.  When it is followed by the particle to it can also be used to talk about strong obligation that comes from somewhere else, for example from your boss, your parents, a rule at school or work.

Examples:-I have to be home by ten. (My parents told me so)
-I must be home by ten. I have a very difficult day tomorrow. (It is my own decision)

And in spoken British English we can use have got to and haven’t got to as well to express necessity or obligation.

Examples:

-Pamela is a waitress. She’s got to work at weekends.
-Have I got to do it right now?
-I haven’t got to take my sister to school, my parents do it.

An example of have got to being used in an informal spoken English context is the following song by the pop/soul singer Des’ree. Listen to it carefully and do the activity provided:

What do you think is the main point of the song? Some people believe that this song is about love and about life, but it’s mostly about you and the way you must choose to live your life. Life is difficult, but you can face it up and make decisions, otherwise, life will go on without asking your opinion and you’ll float downstream instead of swimming in the direction you want to. People may press you in many ways, but you have to stand up and choose your own way. Love may be hard and make you suffer, but love is what will make your life worth living. So basically, the message of this song is: you’re in a tough life, but be strong and look for love, that’s what will bring life into this darkness.

Do you agree? How does it make you feel? Leave a comment so that I can check what you think.

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