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  1. #1
    tomolonight is offline Junior Member
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    has only to

    Can you explain this sentence:

    1) James has only to come into a room to make Mark angry.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: has only to

    Quote Originally Posted by tomolonight View Post
    Can you explain this sentence:

    1) James has only to come into a room to make Mark angry.
    The only thing that James has to do is to enter the room and Mark immediately becomes angry.

    It suggests that Mark does not like James very much. Mark becomes angry at James when he does something as simple as entering the room. James does not have to do anything more specific or annoying!

  3. #3
    Leandro-Z's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: has only to

    I can`t say I agree.
    I think it has to do with the following:

    Whenever James enters a room, his purpose is to argue with Mark.

    Just my opinion, thank you.

  4. #4
    Leandro-Z's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: has only to

    No!
    I was confused.

    It is Ok. Mark can`t put up with James.

    Sorry emsr2d2...

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: has only to

    Quote Originally Posted by Leandro-Z View Post
    No!
    I was confused.

    It is Ok. Mark can`t put up with James.

    Sorry emsr2d2...
    That's OK. You're forgiven!!!

  6. #6
    Leandro-Z's Avatar
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    Wink Re: has only to

    Thank you!

  7. #7
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    Re: has only to

    Your reading would have been right if it had been "James only comes into a room to argue with Mark."
    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.

  8. #8
    tomolonight is offline Junior Member
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    Re: has only to

    [QUOTE=emsr2d2;613658]The only thing that James has to do is to enter the room and Mark immediately becomes angry.QUOTE]

    1) How do you know that Mark immediately becomes angry?

    2) James has only to come into a room to make Mark angry.
    ** James has only come into a room to make Mark angry.
    ** ( any difference between ' has only to ' and ' has only '?

    Give me more examples. Thanks.


  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: has only to

    [QUOTE=tomolonight;613873]
    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    The only thing that James has to do is to enter the room and Mark immediately becomes angry.QUOTE]

    1) How do you know that Mark immediately becomes angry?

    2) James has only to come into a room to make Mark angry.
    This means, as I said, that the only thing James has to do to make Mark angry, is come into the room. He doesn't have to speak, or breathe, or start an argument. It is merely the act of entering the room that angers Mark. James does not want to make Mark angry, nor is that his reason for entering. "Has only to" = "the only thing he needs to do is"

    So for this purpose, we use the present simple (have/has) + only + full infinitive"

    ** James has only come into a room to make Mark angry.

    This means that the only reason James has come into the room is specifically to make Mark angry. That was his purpose in entering the room. "Has only come" = "the only reason he has come"

    For this purpose we use the present perfect (has come), separated by the word only.

    ** ( any difference between ' has only to ' and ' has only '?

    Give me more examples. Thanks.

    I have only to look at a chocolate biscuit, and I gain 2 kilos. (Sarcastic!)
    He has only to dream about winning the lottery, and he wins. (I wish this were true!)
    Dogs have only to smell a cat, and they immediately run after it!

    I have only come into work to collect my pay.
    They have only gone to the football game because they think the players are sexy.
    He has only done the washing-up because I told him to.

  10. #10
    tomolonight is offline Junior Member
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    Re: has only to

    Hi emsr2d2,

    Good explanation,,I got it!
    Thanks!

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