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    #1

    what did he have to say for himself

    I saw John yesterday.
    -What did he have to say for himself?

    What does 'What did he have to say for himself?' mean?

    Does it mean:
    a) what did he have to say in his defense? (John had done something bad.)
    or does it just mean what did he say?


    Gratefully,
    Navi.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what did he have to say for himself

    A: I saw John yesterday.
    B: What did he have to say for himself?
    A: He said it wasn't his fault.

    Choose (a) and not (b).

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    #3

    Re: what did he have to say for himself

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    a) what did he have to say in his defense? (John had done something bad.)
    or does it just mean what did he say?
    It could mean either for me. If he hasn't done anything wrong recently, then it could just mean the second.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: what did he have to say for himself

    Well, it was a long time ago, but I seem to remember that if I had some explaining to do my mom would say, "What do you have to say for yourself?"

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    #5

    Re: what did he have to say for himself

    That is the primary meaning, but it is used in the second sense, possibly jocularly, in BrE.

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