what do you have to say

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joham

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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.
 

Anglika

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Oct 19, 2006
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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?"
 

acorn

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Nov 3, 2007
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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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