Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 2,087
    #1

    She had still to explain

    "And while he looked at the pages in some puzzlement—since she had still to explain their purpose to him, she hadn’t quite got around to it but she would-"

    I try to understand this part of the novel. Would you please explain this part.

    What does it mean by "she had sitll to explain" ?

    https://books.google.com.tr/books?id...voice.&f=false by John le Carre.

    Thank you.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 50,801
    #2

    Re: She had still to explain

    Would you have found it easier to understand if the more common construction "... she still had to explain ..." had been used?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 2,087
    #3

    Re: She had still to explain

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Would you have found it easier to understand if the more common construction "... she still had to explain ..." had been used?
    Yes, it makes some sense to me. Is it past form of "have/has to" which introduces obligation?

    Thank you.

  4. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 2,087
    #4

    Re: She had still to explain

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    I would say that it means exactly what it says.

    1) He looked at the pages in some puzzlement.

    2) Why?

    3) Because she STILL had to explain their purpose but had not got around to it.

    (Note the slight change in word order.)
    But I am not looking for the answer why to that question, I try to understand the part "she had still to explain their purpose." I do not even distinguish if it is simple past of "have/has". So I need clear explanations about it and my English is poor.

    Thank you.

  5. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,472
    #5

    Re: She had still to explain

    It is a nuanced form of obligation.

    I have to wear a hard hat when I visit the site - Absolute obligation, legally imposed.
    I have to cut down on my drinking.- Obligation/necessity, imposed by, for example, a doctor or by oneself.
    She still had to explain her purpose to him. - Necessity.

    I do not claim in any way that my brief 'explanations' are correct in every situation in which such words are uttered. I am merely suggesting that such words as obligation and necessity are just guidelines to learners in an attempt to give an idea of how words/phrases such as have to, need to, must, be obliged to, etc are used. It is impossible to say exactly what is in a speaker's mind when s/he uses such words/phrases.

  6. probus's Avatar
    Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 4,357
    #6

    Re: She had still to explain

    While I like Piscean's answer, I would like to propose a simpler version for our students. It means she must do it but she hasn't done it yet.

  7. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 2,087
    #7

    Re: She had still to explain

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    It is a nuanced form of obligation.

    I have to wear a hard hat when I visit the site - Absolute obligation, legally imposed.
    I have to cut down on my drinking.- Obligation/necessity, imposed by, for example, a doctor or by oneself.
    She still had to explain her purpose to him. - Necessity.
    At school, we had taught that this kind of necessity such of giving up alcohol by doctor's suggestion or as in "she still had to explain her purpose" requires should or must instead of have to/has to. So I am confused. Would you please explain this?

    Thank you.

  8. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Jun 2016
    • Posts: 2,087
    #8

    Re: She had still to explain

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    While I like Piscean's answer, I would like to propose a simpler version for our students. It means she must do it but she hasn't done it yet.

    Is it "simple past" form of must/should ?

    Thank you.

  9. VIP Member
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • Europe
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 15,472
    #9

    Re: She had still to explain

    Quote Originally Posted by hhtt21 View Post
    At school, we had taught that this kind of necessity such of giving up alcohol by doctor's suggestion or as in "she still had to explain her purpose" requires should or must instead of have to/has to.
    Must and have to indicate a stronger obligation than should, which may indicate only a suggestion.

    There is no clear difference in strength of obligation between must and have to.

  10. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
    • Posts: 8,175
    #10

    Re: She had still to explain

    There is a relevant explanation at https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...=1#post1042725
    I am not a teacher.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •