1

I found both sentences on Google:

How many times I have to tell you

How many times do I have to tell you

So I don't know which one is the correct from. Maybe both?

  • 1
    Both are correct in their proper context. You did a really good job using Google Books to find examples! But look carefully at how each phrase is used, and you may see that there are differences in how they are used. – stangdon Feb 25 '18 at 14:06
2

The second is correct and is a phrase that probably every child in the UK has heard whenever they have done something they should not have done or not done something that they should.

It does not really make much sense, but is a kind of cry of exasperation on the part of the person saying it along the lines :"I have told you this a hundred times already, how many more times will I have to tell before you take any notice?"

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    Look at the links... – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '18 at 10:45
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    @Mari-LouA - I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, context means everything! ;-) – J.R. Feb 25 '18 at 12:34
  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times ... – Will Crawford Feb 26 '18 at 2:05
0

The second is correct.

Looking at your google links, the first appears in a few contexts. Firstly there is

I don't know how many times I have to tell you...

You can see the phrase is not a complete sentence, but it can work in this statement.

The first phrase sometimes appears as an emulation of speech. The word "do" is unstressed and can become very reduced, especially if the speaker is talking fast, or is angry.

Listening to myself speaking fast, I might say '...times d'I have..." or even '... times 'I have ...". The "do" can be reduced almost to nothing. It seems that to create this effect of rushed, angry speech some writers are omitting the word "do". It is a speech effect, not correct grammar.

A learner should use the form with "do", as omitting it is a grammar error, except as noted above where it is used as a clause instead of a standalone question.

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  • Are you saying that the sample phrase should be written: "I don't know how many times do I have to tell you..." It's not clear, it seems you are saying without the "do" it is a grammatical error. – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '18 at 12:38
  • @Mari-Lou - I think what is meant here is: Omitting it is a grammatical error except in cases where it is used as a clause instead of a standalone statement. – J.R. Feb 25 '18 at 12:39
  • Is that clearer? – James K Feb 25 '18 at 16:48
  • I think you meant as noted "below" in the comments. If I look above, I see Jeremy's answer :) – Mari-Lou A Feb 25 '18 at 18:42
  • No I mean above where I write "the phrase is not a complete sentence, but it can work in this statement." – James K Feb 26 '18 at 21:53

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