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Thread: must (have)

  1. #1
    beachboy's Avatar
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    Question must (have)

    1) She must have been there yesterday. (Ive come to this conclusion)
    2) She must be there now
    3) She must be there tomorrow (next week)
    Is sentence #3 right? Can I ever infer about the future?

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    1) She must have been there yesterday. (Ive come to this conclusion)
    2) She must be there now
    3) She must be there tomorrow (next week)
    Is sentence #3 right? Can I ever infer about the future?
    No. Sentence #3 is not okay. Say instead:
    She will be there tomorrow.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: must (have)

    What if Im not completely sure if she will be there tomorrow?

  4. #4
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Default Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    What if Im not completely sure if she will be there tomorrow?
    will, just like must, means a shrewd inference from facts; a probable (but not certain) conclusion drawn from premisses.

    should, might, and ought to express lower probability.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    1) She must have been there yesterday. (Ive come to this conclusion)
    2) She must be there now
    3) She must be there tomorrow (next week)
    Is sentence #3 right? Can I ever infer about the future?
    Just like svartnik points this out in his post, sentence #3 can't refer to a future event. The sentence as it stands merely says that it is necessary for her to be there tomorrow, or it is her obligation to be there tomorrow.

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    Default Re: must (have)

    She could be there tomorrow.

    She might be there tomorrow.
    She may be there tomorrow.
    She can be there tomorrow.

    Which sentence implies the strongest probability? The one with "could"?

  7. #7
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    Lightbulb Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by english-help.okis.ru View Post
    She could be there tomorrow.

    She might be there tomorrow.
    She may be there tomorrow.
    She can be there tomorrow.

    Which sentence implies the strongest probability? The one with "could"?
    [more probable]
    She can be there tomorrow. (this use actually denotes possibility)
    She may be there tomorrow.
    She might be there tomorrow.
    She could be there tomorrow.

    [less probable]

  8. #8
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    Default Re: must (have)

    As for should, as svartnik mentioned, where would it be on this list of probability? Higher than may?

  9. #9
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    Arrow Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by beachboy View Post
    As for should, as svartnik mentioned, where would it be on this list of probability? Higher than may?
    It'd be hard to say - should denotes expectation and obligation rather than probability.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: must (have)

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    [more probable]
    She can be there tomorrow. (this use actually denotes possibility)
    She may be there tomorrow.
    She might be there tomorrow.
    She could be there tomorrow.

    [less probable]
    This sounds rather artificial to me. The last three all mean the same thing. If you want to express a probability, you'd use adverbs, not a different modal.
    Would you actually make these distinctions in real life, engee?
    * "She could be there ... actually, no, I'll go so far as to say she may be there tomorrow".
    Much, much more likely:
    "She could be there ... actually, no, I'll go so far as to say she probably will be there tomorrow".

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