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Thread: mustn't have

  1. #1
    silentknight is offline Newbie
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    Default mustn't have

    In one of the threads here I have read that mustn't have + perfect infinitive exists and can be freely used. As an English teacher I have always taught that it doesn't exist. Never have I met this structure in any descriptive grammar books. What is the truth about it?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    mara_ce's Avatar
    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: mustn't have

    Hi silentknight,

    I took part in this thread because I had never heard or seen the use of that structure before.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/te...stnt-have.html
    I asked some teachers here and all of them reacted in the same way. I wonder what would happen if I decided to write mustnīt have been instead of canīt have been to show certainty about something in an international exam. I donīt think it would be accepted.

    Iīve found this use in another grammar book:

    mustnīt have = necessity in the past
    e.g.: You mustnīt have had any driving convictions or you wonīt get the job.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: mustn't have

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    Hi silentknight,

    I took part in this thread because I had never heard or seen the use of that structure before.
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/te...stnt-have.html
    I asked some teachers here and all of them reacted in the same way. I wonder what would happen if I decided to write mustnīt have been instead of canīt have been to show certainty about something in an international exam. I donīt think it would be accepted.
    It might not be accepted if the exam is marked by a non-native speaker, if it is as unknown as you say.

    I'd pass you, if that's any consolation.

    Iīve found this use in another grammar book:

    mustnīt have = necessity in the past
    e.g.: You mustnīt have had any driving convictions or you wonīt get the job.
    Yes, that's a different meaning. Less common than the other one.
    R.

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