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    #1

    don't have to

    When I was small I was somewhat afraid of lightning and thunder. My father explained it. The explanation was in words that a child could understand but was basically correct. I gained a better understanding later, but I don't have to unlearn anything.

    The underlined sentence appears weird to me. Does it mean "I can often remember them"? What does "don't have to" mean here? Obviously, "don't have to" doesn't equal "needn't" here? Am I right in my understanding?

    Thank you for your help!

    Jason

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: don't have to

    Sometimes an explanation given to a child may help at the time, but be at least partly incorrect. In order for the child to learn the (full) truth later in life, s/he may first have to 'unlearn' the original explanation. Such unlearning was not necessary for you in the case of your father's explanation of lightning,

    Off-topic: Many of the grammatical 'rules' of English presented in some beginner's books have to be unlearnt later. .

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: don't have to

    Many parents explain thunder as the sound of the clouds bumping together, so that the sound is less frightening. As you get older and learn the truth about how thunder happens, you don't have to make a point of "unlearning" the explanation that was given to you as a child. You simply replace the childish and simplistic explanation your parents gave you with what you now understand to be the science behind it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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