Must Do: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
May 30, 2023

The phrase "must do" refers to a task or activity that is deemed essential or highly recommended. This obligation can stem from societal, professional, personal, or moral pressures. Thus, any activity labeled as a "must do" signifies a high level of importance, suggesting that it should not be missed or neglected.

In short:

"Must do" means something is necessary or highly recommended.

What Does "Must Do" Mean?

The phrase highlights activities or tasks that hold a certain level of importance and are typically non-negotiable. It carries with it a sense of urgency and priority.

Let's delve into its core meanings and related expressions:

  • Primarily, it signifies an obligatory task that cannot or should not be avoided.
  • It is often used in the context of tasks, events, or experiences.
  • It could suggest strong recommendations for tourists, students, or professionals.

Where Does "Must Do" Come From?

Its exact origin is difficult to trace. The phrase stems from the English word "must," which is an auxiliary verb used to express necessity or obligation. Combined with the verb "do," it refers to a task or action that needs to be done.

10 Examples of "Must Do" in Sentences

Here are some examples of using the idiom in sentences:

  • Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a must-do when you're in Paris.
  • Let's put a pin in it and prioritize the must-do items on our list before getting back to this discussion.
  • The annual company retreat is a must-do for team building and camaraderie.
  • If there's a charity run next weekend, count me in, as participating is a must-do for me each year.
  • Walking the Freedom Trail is a must-do when you visit Boston.
  • We must complete the must-do tasks, and we're good to go.
  • Bringing a gag gift at the party is a must-do tradition in our group.
  • For food lovers, trying local cuisine is a must-do when traveling to a new country.
  • When you're out and about in a new city, visiting the main attractions is a must-do.
  • Keeping your software up-to-date is a must-do for ensuring computer security.

Examples of "Must Do" in Pop Culture

The phrase "must do" often appears in media related to travel, education, and business, often to emphasize important or beneficial actions.

Let's look at some examples:

  • "Top Trails: Maui: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone" by Sara Benson is a book in the award-winning Top Trails series that covers the best hiking trails on Maui.
  • "Myth Or Must Do? Do You Want to Live a Longer, Healthier, and Wealthier Life?" by Samuel Britton is a book that seeks to dispel common myths surrounding finance and fitness.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Must Do"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "must do."

Some of these include:

  • Essential
  • Highly recommended
  • Necessary
  • Required
  • Crucial

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Must Do":

  • What does "must do" mean?

"Must do" refers to something that is considered necessary or highly recommended. It suggests a task, experience, or event that one should not miss.

  • How can I use "must do" in a sentence?

You can use "must do" to emphasize the importance or desirability of a task, event, or experience. For instance, "Reading classic literature is a must do for English literature students."

  • Where does the idiom "must do" come from?

The phrase comes from the English auxiliary verb "must," indicating necessity or obligation, combined with the verb "do."

  • Does the phrase imply a command?

Not necessarily. It signifies importance and recommendation and can be a command depending on context.

  • Can people use the phrase casually?

Yes, it is used in both formal and casual contexts.

  • Is the phrase only applicable to tasks?

No, the phrase "must do" can refer to experiences, actions, and even concepts.

  • Can people use the phrase humorously?

Yes, as in "Eating an extra slice of cake is a must do."

  • Is it okay to use the phrase to express obligation?

Yes, the phrase is commonly used to convey obligation, necessity, or strong recommendation.

  • What's the difference between "must do" and "should do"?

"Must do" typically conveys a stronger sense of obligation or necessity than "should do," which indicates a recommendation or advice.

  • Can one use the phrase in a professional context?

Yes, "must do" is frequently used in professional contexts to indicate crucial tasks or actions, especially in project planning or management.

Final Thoughts About "Must Do"

 The idiom "must do" indicates an obligation or a highly recommended action. It conveys the importance of a task, event, or experience, suggesting something that one should not miss.

Here's a quick recap:

  • It refers to a task or activity of significant importance or high recommendation.
  • It is appropriate in a variety of contexts and situations, reflecting its flexibility and adaptability.

Whether it's a personal habit, a professional responsibility, or a cultural activity, if it's a "must do," you know it holds weight. It's a phrase that effectively communicates the significance of an action, contributing to the richness of the English language.

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