"Tendremos que decir que no."
Translation:We will have to say no.
What is the function of the second "que"? Is it necessary? Does the sentence still have meaning without the second "que"?
A way to think of this is that the que is a shortened form of the entire idea we are saying no about. For example, if they asked if we can come early, we might say "We will have to tell them (that) no, (we cannot come early). In English, the connector "that" is optional; not so in Spanish. When we answer, we can leave off the second part because we know what we are saying no to and don't need to say it again. But since the conjunction que is needed to connect the two clauses, it stays.
Spanish uses que in many similar expressions were we wouldn't put anything in English for this same reason: creo que no = I don't believe so (or literally, "I believe that [X previously mentioned thing] is not the case), pienso que sí = I think so.
I think that if you left out that second que, the sentence would have to be written "Tendremos que decir 'no'." and would mean something more along the lines of "We will have to say no" in general, rather than to any specific request, etc. previously mentioned.
Ive asked my native spanish partner to clarify this for me but the way you have explained this could not be better. Thank you for taking the time to explain this to us all x
Spanish throws in many 'ques' where we might have a 'that' in English, or nothing at all.
It is a conjunction I gather. I think of it as setting up quotes on a message. They would say, "no".
I wrote "we will have to say no to that". Can someone explain why this is incorrect.
Because the original sentence doesn't include "a eso", so you were actually translating something that wasn't there.