1

Which one of these sentences is correct?

  1. I don't want to be the one that have to explain to your parents why you are not going to graduate.

  2. I don't want to be the one that has to explain to your parents why you are not going to graduate.

  • Have is possible here because there is a wish (want) being expressed. This is the subjunctive mood, but I think it is pretty rare these days and probably only exists in a few dialects. You could always use will have to. – Phil Sweet Oct 18 '17 at 10:04
  • Can you explain in more detail what you think about each of them? Do you think that "have" could be possible because of the first-person pronoun "I" earlier in the sentence? – herisson Oct 18 '17 at 17:24
2

The sentence has a relative clause, introduced by 'that', and the embedded clause obeys the rules of subject agreement. Since the subject of the relative clause is 'the one', which is singular, you should use 'has' to agree with it, not 'have'.

(Phil's comment about subjunctive is not a part of modern English.)

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  • +1 use has, always, in this context. And that's the first time I've written always on this site. – Arm the good guys in America Oct 18 '17 at 17:49
  • 1
    But, to be clear, "We don't want to be the ones that have to explain ..."; 'have' goes with plural subjects. – AmI Oct 18 '17 at 17:57

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