1. I did not have to meet him there.
  1. I need not have met him there.

what is the difference in meaning between these two sentences???

  • No difference but 2) is somewhat old fashioned.There is also: "I didn't need to meet him there"., which is less so.
    – Lambie
    Jun 26, 2020 at 16:05
  • The really old-fashioned version would be Oh I wish I hadn't to go out tonight (... I didn't hafta go out!). Jun 26, 2020 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


"I did not have to meet him there" could mean "I was not required to meet him there", or it could mean "I could have met him somewhere else", but "I need not have met him there" only means the second of these.


There is no difference in meaning, only in use. If you are in a formal location, it is more recommended that you use did not have to. If you are in a place that does not require you to be formal, you can choose which one you prefer to use. I think the first one sounds like something more complete, but that's just a personal opinion.

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