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  1. #1
    symaa is offline Member
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    Question Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    Hi,
    there is a slight differences between these three examples:
    1-Needn't have done
    2-Didn't have to
    3-Didn't need to

    1- He needn't have taken a taxi:the action took place but it was unnecessary, so, he took a taxi but it was not necessary, maybe he was not late.

    2-Didn't have to: the action did not take place because it was unnecessary, thus, He did not take the taxi .

    Could you please tell me the meaning of the third sentence?
    Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by symaa; 21-Jun-2011 at 21:14.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    As an American, I'm not likely to say #1 at all. I'd use #3 to say that I did something that turned out to be unnecessary.

    However, I might also use #3 when I didn't do it at all.

    A: You're here earlier than you thought you'd be!
    B: Yes, it turns out I didn't need/have to stop by the grocery store after all.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by symaa View Post
    Hi,
    there is a slight differences between these three examples:
    1-Needn't have done
    2-Didn't have to
    3-Didn't need to

    1- He needn't have taken a taxi:the action took place but it was unnecessary, so, he took a taxi but it was not necessary, maybe he was not late. Yes.

    2-Didn't have to: the action did not take place because it was unnecessary, thus, He did not take the taxi. Yes.

    Could you please tell me the meaning of the third sentence? "He didn't take a taxi because it wasn't necessary" or "He took a taxi even though it wasn't necessary". Depending on context.
    Thank you in advance.
    My BrE understanding.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by symaa View Post
    1- He needn't have taken a taxi:the action took place but it was unnecessary, so, he took a taxi but it was not necessary, maby maybe he was not late.
    I agree.

    2-Didn't have to: the action did not take place because it was unnecessary, thus, He did not take the taxi .
    One possible meaning. Another is that he did it (perhaps because he wanted to) but there had been no obligation for him to do it,

    Could you please tell me the meaning of the third sentence?
    Similar to #2. EITHER there was no necessity, so he didn't to it, OR there was no necessity but he did it anyway.
    Context is everything.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    I needn't have posted my response - bhai had aready written his.

  6. #6
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    nyota is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    2-Didn't have to: the action did not take place because it was unnecessary, thus, He did not take the taxi. Yes.

    Could you please tell me the meaning of the third sentence? "He didn't take a taxi because it wasn't necessary" or "He took a taxi even though it wasn't necessary". Depending on context.
    Can't (2) also be dependent on the context?

    I didn't have to (/need to) take a taxi, so I didn't.
    I didn't have to (/need to) take a taxi, but the weather was horrible, so I did.

  7. #7
    nyota's Avatar
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    I needn't have posted my question - 5jj answered it before I actually asked it. WRR

  8. #8
    symaa is offline Member
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    A: You're here earlier than you thought you'd be!
    B: Yes, it turns out I didn't need/have to stop by the grocery store after all.They have the same meaning
    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "He didn't take a taxi because it wasn't necessary" or "He took a taxi even though it wasn't necessary". Depending on context.In some exercise they give you only sentences like those which I had written above without any context.//I had forgotten to write the sentence.He didn't need to take a taxi./

    .
    2-Didn't have to: the action did not take place because it was unnecessary, thus, He did not take the taxi .
    One possible meaning. Another is that he did it (perhaps because he wanted to) but there had been no obligation for him to do it, It has two meanings
    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I needn't have posted my response - bhai had aready written his.you posted your thread despite the fact that Mr.bhai had aready answered my question.
    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    I needn't have posted my question - 5jj answered it before I actually asked it. WRR .
    Thanks all of you for your examples and answers.
    So, to sum up the third example has the same meaning of the second one, as sentences witout context.

  9. #9
    suman1779 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    I might also use #3 when I didn't do it at all.

  10. #10
    symaa is offline Member
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    Default Re: Needn't have done/Didn't have to/Didn't need to.

    Quote Originally Posted by suman1779 View Post
    I might also use #3 when I didn't do it at all.
    Thank you......

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