"Ik hoef niet veel te zeggen."
Translation:I do not have to say much.
How would you phrase "I do not have much to say?" Would it be "ik hoef veel niet te zeggen?"
No, I do not have much to say translates to Ik heb niet veel te zeggen
Hoeven is only a translation of to have in the meaning of to be obliged to. In (almost all?) other cases to have is translated to hebben, both for possession and for changing tenses:
- Ik heb een boek = I have a book
- Ik lees = I read
- Ik heb gelezen = I have read
I was forgetting that English has two meanings for the same word where Dutch doesn't! Oops!
"I do not have much to say (in this case)." would be an obliged meaning too, or am I wrong? It depends on the pronunciation and interpretation of the sentence in context I guess.
Not really; it would mean more that you have no opinion on this case, or you agree with what has been said and have nothing to add to the discussion.
I entered 'I needn't say a lot', which was 'corrected' to 'I mustn't say a lot'. Seems to be the wrong way round.
No. Dutch distinguishes zeggen and praten in the same way that English distinguishes say and talk.
See Susande's answer to TimRosenow's question concerning "I do not have much to say?", which is currently at the top of this discussion forum.
Hoeven is probably related to have, but it's more closely related to behoove. Dutch for have is hebben. An overly literal translation of "Ik hoef niet veel te zeggen" would be the archaic "I behoove not to say much" = "I do not behoove to say much" (Not: "It behooves me not to say much" / "It doesn't behoove me to say much". This has another wrong meaning because in this phrase the meaning of behoove has shifted too much from the original meaning of need.)
Thank you for this response. Perhaps I could have put: I do not need to say much