"Look how he's always flirting with every woman he meets. I'm so tired of having to look at his white teeth and slicked-back hair."

First of all, is "having to look at" the most natural thing to use here? Would it also be natural to just say: "I'm so tired of looking at..."?

Secondly, if no one is forcing the one speaking to look at him, why is it still natural to say "having to look at"?

1 Answer 1


The "having to" part of this phrase is meant to convey or suggest a perceived intentional aspect of the person's presentation of themselves: you don't have to look at them, but it requires a deliberate choice not to, as their personal grooming seems to be designed to draw attention to themselves.

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