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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    what do you have to say

    What do you have to say?

    One of my net friends says that this sentence may has two meanings:
    1. 'have to' has the meaning of 'must'.
    2. What do you have that you want to say?

    But to my ear the sentence means only the second.

    Might I ask native English teachers to help me?

    Thank you very much.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: what do you have to say

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    What do you have to say?

    One of my net friends says that this sentence may have two meanings:

    1. 'have to' has the meaning of 'must'.
    2. What do you have that you want to say?

    But to my ear the sentence means only the second.

    Might I ask native English teachers to help me?

    Thank you very much.
    I agree with you - the second one expresses the meaning better if you are asking for a person's views about something.

    It can also carry the meaning: "You have made a serious mistake. How do you explain it?"

  1. #3

    Re: what do you have to say

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    I agree with you - the second one expresses the meaning better if you are asking for a person's views about something. [red highlight added]

    It can also carry the meaning: "You have made a serious mistake. How do you explain it?"
    Agreed. When no context is given, I would interpret the question the same way. But conceivably in some context the question can also mean, "What is it that you have to say?"

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