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"As he settled down at the table just next to me, I quietly told him that I was batting at number 3 today. He asked, ‘Who is missing out then?’ I had no idea. I wasn’t brave enough to ask the captain of India, though I felt it had to be Sidhu. Dravid got up to get some juice. I saw Azhar walking up and talking to him. So he could be playing as well. He came back and confirmed it. I asked what number. Dravid shook his head and said he didn’t know."

In the above sentence, why did not use "HAD TO SIDHU" instead of "HAD TO BE"? What is the difference of both usages?

Last edited by Sundaran
@Sundaran posted:

David, but "had to" also past reference? "Has to" or "Have to" is present. I am bit confused when I am digging into it more. 🤔 Can you make me out in detail?

The semi-modal "have to" can be used in different tenses and with different subjects, so it can have the forms "have to," "has to," "had to," "having to." In your example, the past form ("had to") is used, with "be" as the main verb:

  • I feel that it has to be Sidhu.
  • I felt that it had to be Sidhu.

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