He had <something> to do with the riot.

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park sang joon

Senior Member
The following are of my own making.

1. The officer had something to do with the riot.
2. The officer had to do with the riot.

I'd like to know the difference between #1 and #2 in the meaning.
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • Barque

    The first means that the officer contributed to the riot; he was one of its causes. "Has something to do with" is an idiomatic phrase meaning "has a connection with".

    The second doesn't really have a clear meaning. Where the context makes it very clear, it could mean "The officer had to be satisfied with the riot" ("to do with" can mean "to make do with") but that's something that's very unlikely to be said.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    To me, #1 means the officer was involved in the riot, perhaps in a very minor way, or perhaps not.
    #2 is meanlingless to me. I would be absolutely guessing what the author intended.
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