Can I remove "have to" in this sentence?

5

1

What is the meaning of these sentences? What is the difference between them?

Why did you have to name me after stew?
Why did you name me after stew?

Amish Aa

Posted 2013-04-16T10:43:32.680

Reputation: 1 333

Probably you were named after stew because your parents didn’t want to make a decision on an empty stomach. – tchrist – 2013-04-16T23:00:00.670

@tchrist I have to admit, I'm now curious what the name in question is. – WendiKidd – 2013-04-16T23:21:05.827

@WendiKidd Stuart Little. – tchrist – 2013-04-16T23:25:49.243

Answers

8

Without have to, the question is just that: a question, seeking an answer.

Why did you name me after stew? Burgoo is a very odd name! Where did it come from?

Adding have to implies that the question is 'rhetorical', and its intent is to protest:

Why did you have to name me after stew? I hate that name! and I hate burgoo, too! You could at least have named me after something I like, like bouillabaisse.

StoneyB on hiatus

Posted 2013-04-16T10:43:32.680

Reputation: 176 469

3Had I travelled into the future to find out what kind of foods you would grow to like, young man, I certainly could have... Not that I would when you take an attitude like that! ;) +1 – WendiKidd – 2013-04-16T22:09:00.740

@WendiKidd I still think it's very odd of you to have named your son Burgoo. What kind of Foxfire hippie are you, anyway? – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-04-16T22:15:42.000

Oi! What's wrong with Foxfire Kits? Oh. Hippies. You said hippies. – Kit Z. Fox – 2013-04-16T22:38:41.873