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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
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    #1

    liten to what they have/ had to say

    I got these sentences from BNC and AC:

    Do other people always listen to what you have to say ?

    I managed to get local National Farmers Union branch members to come to listen to what they had to say .

    Let's go to Anthony and Sandra first. And Dr. Isay, let us listen to what they have to say.

    I think 'what' is the object of 'have' while my net friends say 'have to' means 'must'. Could I ask native English teachers to clarify this puzzle of mine?

    Thank you in advance.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: liten to what they have/ had to say

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I got these sentences from BNC and AC:

    Do other people always listen to what you have to say ?

    I managed to get local National Farmers Union branch members to come to listen to what they had to say .

    Let's go to Anthony and Sandra first. And Dr. Isay, let us listen to what they have to say.

    I think 'what' is the object of 'have' while my net friends say 'have to' means 'must'. Could I ask native English teachers to clarify this puzzle of mine?

    Thank you in advance.
    These are not <have to's> of 'must', Joham. It is like the first example, below. In the second sentence we have a 'must' <have to>.

    I have three things to say versus I have to say three things.

    What do they have to say? ->> They have a few things to say.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,215
    #3

    Re: liten to what they have/ had to say

    Think of the difference here:

    I have to say something. (I must say this. I feel compelled.)

    I have something to say. (There's something in my mind I wish to share with you.)

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