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There are situations when the expression "to have to" follows by the main verb of the sentence, such as:

I regret to have to inform the Committee that it has failed.

I don't want to have to warn you again.

I don't want to have to part with this mug.

Could you explain me what the function of this expression in this sentences?

  • Sometimes it’s an extra level of indirection; sometimes it’s just fluff. Sometimes, unfortunately, you need to ask the author to find out which they intended. – Lawrence Mar 11 '18 at 12:34
  • All of these examples are negative: regret, don't. But none of them negate their complement: the Committee still failed, I may have to warn you again, I may have to part with this ring. The negation is strictly for face-saving; it refers only to emotions, not results. It's a form of sympathy, though not apology. But this use of to have to is perfectly normal and not a negative polarity item; any infinitive can be used as complement of a verb, if their senses match appropriately. Since have to is a periphrastic modal, it's often found in non-finite clauses. – John Lawler Mar 11 '18 at 16:21
  • "To have to" is not a constituent. Stative "have" is a catenative verb here with a to-infinitival complement, where the meaning is of obligation or necessity. Thus the second "to" belongs in the clause that functions a complement to "have", i.e. "I regret to have [to inform the committee that it failed]". – BillJ Mar 11 '18 at 19:49

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