Quick answer
"Deber de" is an auxiliary verb which is often translated as "must", and "haber de" is a transitive verb phrase which is often translated as "to have to". Learn more about the difference between "deber de" and "haber de" below.
deber de(
deh
-
behr
 
deh
)
An auxiliary verb, or helper verb, is a conjugated verb that comes before a main verb and determines the main verb's tense, mood, or aspect (e.g. I have gone.).
1. (used with an infinitive to express probability)
a. must
Debe de ser muy interesante poder viajar a las islas Galápagos.It must be really interesting to be able to travel to the Galapagos Islands.
2.
A word or phrase that is commonly used in conversational speech (e.g. skinny, grandma).
(colloquial)
(used with an infinitive to express obligation)
a. have to
Esto es chantaje, Juan. Debes de decírselo a la policía.This is blackmail, Juan. You have to tell the police.
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
phrase
3. (used as a noun to indicate responsibility)
a. duty to
Tengo el deber de comunicarle que su presencia en nuestro país no es bien recibida.It is my duty to inform you that your presence in our country is not welcome.
b. obligation as
Mi deber de ciudadano es denunciar este delito ambiental a las autoridades.My obligation as a citizen is to report this environmental crime to the authorities.
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haber de(
ah
-
behr
 
deh
)
A transitive verb phrase is a phrase that combines a verb with a preposition or other particle and requires a direct object (e.g. Take out the trash.).
transitive verb phrase
1. (used to express obligation)
a. to have to
El tiempo apremia. Hemos de tomar una decisión lo antes posible.Time is pressing on. We have to make a decision as soon as possible.
b. to must
Has de enviar la solicitud hoy porque acaba el plazo.You must send your application today because it's the deadline.
c.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
El amor es algo que has de descubrir por ti misma.Love is something you should discover for yourself.
¿Por qué una simple disputa por unos terrenos baldíos habría de acabar en guerra?Why should a simple dispute for some wasteland end in war?
2. (used to speculate)
a. to must
El partido ha de haber acabado ya.The game must have finished by now.
b.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Es muy tozudo, pero ha de haber una forma de convencerlo.He's very stubborn, but there has to be a way of persuading him.
Yo creo que ha de haber al menos 500 personas aquí dentro.I think there must be at least 500 people inside here.
3. (to exist)
a.
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
En el mundo del cine hay de todo, desde verdaderos genios creativos hasta los más descarados arribistas.In the cinema industry there's everything, from true creative geniuses to the most brazen opportunists.
¿Hay alguna librería? - No, este es un pueblo muy pequeño y no hay de eso.Is there a bookshop? - No, this is a very small village and there's no such thing.
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