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  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    He must have arrived by now, mustn't he?
    He must have arrived by now, hasn't he?


    Dear sir, could you tell me if both sentences above are all right? And why?

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    He must have arrived by now, mustn't he?
    He must have arrived by now, hasn't he?


    Dear sir, could you tell me if both sentences above are all right? And why?
    Only the second one is correct. In this kind of sentence, only "hasn't he" can be used with a past tense verb (must have arrived) and with "by now".

    "mustn't he" cannot be used with the past tense and with "by now". "mustn't he" can only be used for a time in the future. He must arrive by noon, mustn't he?

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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Only the second one is correct. In this kind of sentence, only "hasn't he" can be used with a past tense verb (must have arrived) and with "by now".

    "mustn't he" cannot be used with the past tense and with "by now". "mustn't he" can only be used for a time in the future. He must arrive by noon, mustn't he?
    Are you sure 2006? I feel certain I would never say the 2nd sentence (plus, it breaks the rule of tag questions). I think the "by now" puts it in the present anyway. "Musn't he" can certainly be used in the present, not just for "a time in the future".
    He must be crazy, musn't he?
    He must walk carefully, musn't he?

    Granted, the 1st sentence seems an odd construction but I think it is the correct one of the two!
    Fiona

  4. #4
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    I still go with what I said. The first sentence is odd, and in my opinion, the second part of sentence 1 doesn't fit with the intended meaning of the first part.
    I think that "hasn't he?" fits the intended meaning of the first part. He must have arrived by now, hasn't he (arrived)?

    In sentence 1, "mustn't he (have arrived)?", to me, means 'is it not so that he should have arrived by now?', which I think is not the intended meaning.
    So this is a round about way of saying that in a tag question, I think, the meaning has to match, not necessarily the words.

    As far as (past/future) tense is concerned, I did say that "in this kind of sentence".......'. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough, and I agree that "musn't he?" can be used in the present tense in other sentences.

    I think that in your "He must be crazy,...." sentence, the second part can be "musn't he?" or "isn't he?", but with different meanings. And this goes back to my original reason for saying #2 is correct, in my opinion, the meaning of the two parts fit.

    I guess when I said "musn't he?" can't be used "with the past tense....", I was thinking of preserving what I thought was the intended meaning.

    I am interested in your further comments. (I had to write this in a bit of a rush, so I hope it is coherent enough)

  5. #5
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    He must have arrived by now, mustn't he?

    He must have arrived by now, hasn't he?

    Dear sir, could you tell me if both sentences above are all right? And why?
    Both are fine in a grammatical sense, but <mustn't + S> is not so commonly used as a tag. Tags are used to seek confirmation with a preceding statement and as such they don't HAVE TO maintain perfect tense agreement.

    By the same token, we don't commonly use 'may' as a tag;

    ??He may have gone, mayn't he? ??

    ??He may not have gone, may he? ??

    Some common tags to replace this "stuffy form" are <don't you think?>, <hasn't he?>, <you'd think>, <right?> <don't you figure?> ...

    <mustn't he> could quite easily be an ellipted <mustn't he have?>

    'by now' means "up to now", the point that ends in now.

    "a past tense verb (must have arrived)"

    'have arrived' is a past tense collocation. 'must' is a tenseless modal auxiliary verb that only carries modal meaning into the sentence. It has nothing to do with tense/time considerations.
    Last edited by riverkid; 07-Nov-2007 at 02:47.

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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I still go with what I said. The first sentence is odd, and in my opinion, the second part of sentence 1 doesn't fit with the intended meaning of the first part.
    I think that "hasn't he?" fits the intended meaning of the first part. He must have arrived by now, hasn't he (arrived)? The "automatic" tag uses the auxilary verb if there is one. "Must" is the auxilary. I just don't think "fitting the intended meaning" is relevant.

    In sentence 1, "mustn't he (have arrived)?", to me, means 'is it not so that he should have arrived by now?', which I think is not the intended meaning.
    So this is a round about way of saying that in a tag question, I think, the meaning has to match, not necessarily the words. I think this is where we disagree. What I wrote above speaks to this.

    As far as (past/future) tense is concerned, I did say that "in this kind of sentence".......'. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough, and I agree that "musn't he?" can be used in the present tense in other sentences.

    I think that in your "He must be crazy,...." sentence, the second part can be "musn't he?" or "isn't he?", but with different meanings. And this goes back to my original reason for saying #2 is correct, in my opinion, the meaning of the two parts fit. I wouldn't use "isn't he" here.

    I guess when I said "musn't he?" can't be used "with the past tense....", I was thinking of preserving what I thought was the intended meaning.

    I am interested in your further comments. (I had to write this in a bit of a rush, so I hope it is coherent enough)
    It's an interesting discussion...I'm in a rush too, so I may not have touched on everything well


    Ah, my fellow Canadians!
    2006, I added some comments above.
    Riverkid, thanks for your input re: the tenselessness of modals (although I would suggest modal perfects do carry tense!) As an aside, Riverkid, tags are used for confirmation, which is why a tag using a modal of (50/50) possibility, "may" would be strange, in the negative or the positive, as in your examples. I do think I have heard "might" replace "may" in such situations though, now that I think of it!
    <mustn't he> could quite easily be an ellipted <mustn't he have?> ...I agree that this is used sometimes and I like your suggestion that we replace awkward forms with unconnected (grammatically) tags.

  7. #7
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Originally Posted by 2006:
    I still go with what I said. The first sentence is odd, and in my opinion, the second part of sentence 1 doesn't fit with the intended meaning of the first part.
    I think that "hasn't he?" fits the intended meaning of the first part. He must have arrived by now, hasn't he (arrived)?

    Fiona: The "automatic" tag uses the auxiliary verb if there is one. "Must" is the auxiliary. I just don't think "fitting the intended meaning" is relevant.

    I think, though I may be wrong, that 2006 feels that there must be some "tense/time" concordance here. But that isn't the case. Again, it could be merely that there's an ellipted portion.

    I think that this is the natural order with tags.

    He could have been there, couldn't he?

    She can't have travelled that far, could she?

    [not as likely to be a tagged question because of the strong sense that <can't have> carries. Hence, the more likely shift to a 'could' tag.]

    They would have gone, wouldn't they?




    2006:
    In sentence 1, "mustn't he (have arrived)?", to me, means 'is it not so that he should have arrived by now?', which I think is not the intended meaning.
    So this is a round about way of saying that in a tag question, I think, the meaning has to match, not necessarily the words.

    The tag doesn't really say anything. The tag is merely an agreement marker. The statement,

    "He must have arrived by now",

    states the speaker's idea.

    In it, 'must' means "from all the sources and info I now have available on this issue, I believe that there is no other choice save for the one that I offer".

    [note that deontic/social 'must' disappears in past time situations. Only epistem/certainty 'must' remains]

    1. He must have arrived by now, mustn't he?

    2. He must have arrived by now, hasn't he?

    In example #2, the meaning with <hasn't he> actually changes the speaker's initial statement, making it stronger.

    "He has arrived, hasn't he?" differs in level of certainty to "He must have arrived, mustn't he?

    But for the purposes of a tag seeking agreement/confirmation, the difference is of little concern. It could even be a mid-sentence shift in the certainty level of the speaker.



    2006:
    As far as (past/future) tense is concerned, I did say that "in this kind of sentence".......'. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough, and I agree that "musn't he?" can be used in the present tense in other sentences.

    I think that in your "He must be crazy,...." sentence, the second part can be "musn't he?" or "isn't he?", but with different meanings. And this goes back to my original reason for saying #2 is correct, in my opinion, the meaning of the two parts fit.

    Fiona: I wouldn't use "isn't he" here.

    I think, Fiona, that you could well use <isn't he> in a situation where you had a mid-sentence change of thought, where you, in the latter half seek to increase the certainty level you first expressed.

    2006:
    I guess when I said "musn't he?" can't be used "with the past tense....", I was thinking of preserving what I thought was the intended meaning.

    I am interested in your further comments. (I had to write this in a bit of a rush, so I hope it is coherent enough)

    Fiona: It's an interesting discussion...I'm in a rush too, so I may not have touched on everything well

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Quote Originally Posted by fiona bramble View Post

    Ah, my fellow Canadians!

    2006, I added some comments above.

    Riverkid, thanks for your input re: the tenselessness of modals (although I would suggest modal perfects do carry tense!)

    My pleasure, Fiona. Thanks for your input and thanks too to 2006.

    I have to disagree with you that modals carry tense. Modals carry emotive meanings or certainty meanings. The "tense" is signaled by other portions of the sentence, in this case, the perfect, "have +PP".

    1. They have been there.

    2. They must have been there.

    3. They probably have been there.

    4. They may have been there.

    5. They might have been there.

    In numbers 2 to 5, we see that the modal is added to adjust/modifiy the 100% meaning of number 1. Number 1 has the same "tense" as numbers 2 thru 5 with the only difference being, a modal/semi-modal opinion has been added to numbers 2 thru 5.

    Remove the opinion modals/semi-modals and we still have the "tense".



    Fiona:
    As an aside, Riverkid, tags are used for confirmation, which is why a tag using a modal of (50/50) possibility, "may" would be strange, in the negative or the positive, as in your examples.

    I do think I have heard "might" replace "may" in such situations though, now that I think of it!

    Something's amiss here, Fiona. If it's strange to use to use a tag for a modal of 50/50 possibility, ie. 'may', then why is it not strange to use as a tag, a modal that expresses even less of a possibility, ie. 'might'?

    ##
    Last edited by riverkid; 08-Nov-2007 at 02:31.

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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Hi Riverkid, great reflections here!
    I think, though I may be wrong, that 2006 feels that there must be some "tense/time" concordance here. But that isn't the case. Again, it could be merely that there's an ellipted portion.
    I do believe that is what 2006 feels and no, it isn't the case. Yes, likely ellipted.

    I think that this is the natural order with tags.

    He could have been there, couldn't he?

    She can't have travelled that far, could she? Yes, possible as "can" and "could" in the negative have the same meaning in modal perfect form. It is in this example that I truly see/hear the ellipted form. I think I would likely say "..., can she have?" here (in reduced form).

    [not as likely to be a tagged question because of the strong sense that <can't have> carries. Hence, the more likely shift to a 'could' tag.] See previous comment.

    They would have gone, wouldn't they?



    2006:
    In sentence 1, "mustn't he (have arrived)?", to me, means 'is it not so that he should have arrived by now?', which I think is not the intended meaning.
    So this is a round about way of saying that in a tag question, I think, the meaning has to match, not necessarily the words.

    The tag doesn't really say anything. The tag is merely an agreement marker. Yes, but it can, of course, genuinely be seeking confirmation (in terms of function). It is "an agreement marker" in regards to it's grammatical agreement with the initial statement. The statement,

    "He must have arrived by now",

    states the speaker's idea.

    In it, 'must' means "from all the sources and info I now have available on this issue, I believe that there is no other choice save for the one that I offer".

    [note that deontic/social 'must' disappears in past time situations. Only epistem/certainty 'must' remains] I don't know what you mean here...can you explain further? Oh, I think I've figured it out...you mean the "must" of necessity disappears in the past...?? Yes, of course..is this relevant?

    1. He must have arrived by now, mustn't he?

    2. He must have arrived by now, hasn't he?

    In example #2, the meaning with <hasn't he> actually changes the speaker's initial statement, making it stronger. Yes, of course. I wonder if this is strictly a tag question though. Although in speech it follows on the heels of the statement, in writing perhaps it would be marked as a second (and separate)sentence/question....

    "He has arrived, hasn't he?" differs in level of certainty to "He must have arrived, mustn't he? Yes

    But for the purposes of a tag seeking agreement/confirmation, the difference is of little concern. It could even be a mid-sentence shift in the certainty level of the speaker. Yes. Context is everything! In speech, the context can shift instantly (externally or internally!)


    2006:
    As far as (past/future) tense is concerned, I did say that "in this kind of sentence".......'. Maybe I didn't make that clear enough, and I agree that "musn't he?" can be used in the present tense in other sentences.

    I think that in your "He must be crazy,...." sentence, the second part can be "musn't he?" or "isn't he?", but with different meanings. And this goes back to my original reason for saying #2 is correct, in my opinion, the meaning of the two parts fit.

    Fiona: I wouldn't use "isn't he" here.

    [color=red]I think, Fiona, that you could well use <isn't he> in a situation where you had a mid-sentence change of thought, where you, in the latter half seek to increase the certainty level you first expressed. Yes, as I said above. "Thought" is ever-evolving. So, with that in mind, is this a discussion about context (the grammar possibilities) or the "grammar standards" for typical tag questions?

    One last thing re: modals & tense...Yes, RK, modals are tenseless but a "modal perfect" by its category carries tense. A modal perfect sentence devoid of the modal wouldn't make any sense (or at least, wouldn't make its intended sense!) , neither would it be logical if the modal perfect was missing its "perfect" aspect. A marriage of necessity I believe and one that includes tense :)



    All the best everybody!
    Fiona

  9. #9
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Quote Originally Posted by fiona bramble View Post

    Yes, as I said above. "Thought" is ever-evolving. So, with that in mind, is this a discussion about context (the grammar possibilities) or the "grammar standards" for typical tag questions?

    I'd say that "grammar standards" mean nothing in and of themselves, Fiona. When the standard doesn't adequately describe how language operates, it can hardly be called a standard. It always has to be about the possibilities that different grammar structures hold.

    In my teaching career, I've seen and continue to see too many ESLs hung up on whether this or that "grammar" is "correct" when the most important issues, the pragmatics of the situation, which decide the appropriateness of a given language structure, are all but forgotten.


    Fiona: One last thing re: modals & tense...Yes, RK, modals are tenseless but a "modal perfect" by its category carries tense. A modal perfect sentence devoid of the modal wouldn't make any sense (or at least, wouldn't make its intended sense!), neither would it be logical if the modal perfect was missing its "perfect" aspect. A marriage of necessity I believe and one that includes tense :)

    That's what I'm pointing out, Fiona. The modals are only there to carry modal meaning. All epistemic modals modify 100% statements. That's their job; to modify a sureness, if you will.

    You allow that modals are tenseless.

    "He must be at home."

    If we take out the modal here, we DO have an odd sentence for modern English.

    "He be at home",

    sounds like Long John Silver or another dialect of English that uses the 'be' form.

    In the example, we can see that 'must' is only there to modify the certainty of,

    He is at home.




    All the best everybody!
    Fiona
    And to you too, Fiona.

  10. #10
    joham is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: He must have arrived, mustn't he?/ hasn't he?

    Davies, Mark. (2004-) BYU-BNC: The British National Corpus. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/bnc.

    1. I was just thinking I bet that Helen was pleased then cos she must have passed, mustn't she?
    2. Yes. Now it must have been mustn't it, a possibility, if been there at all, that he was hiding under that bed?
    3. Exactly why, he must have had some sympathy, mustn't he?.
    4. …she must have passed mustn't she?
    5. He must have been interested in cooking, mustn't he?
    6. Yeah well I mean he must have gone in the hospital to her mustn't he?
    8. You must have touched her up the wrong way. --Yeah, I must have done mustn't I?
    9. Now it must have been mustn't it, a possibility, if been there at all, that he was hiding under that bed?
    10. Exactly why, he must have had some sympathy, mustn't he?.
    11. He must have been interested in cooking, mustn't he?
    12. Yeah well I mean he must have gone in the hospital to her mustn't he?
    13. Yeah, I must have done mustn't I?
    14. Somebody must have reported him, though, mustn't they?
    15. Abruptly she stood up and crossed to the window. "I must have done , mustn't I?"
    16. You must have seen the seals, though, didn't you? (Only this one is an exception)
    17. Exactly why, he must have had some sympathy , mustn't he ?.
    18. And your sister's ten years older than you so they must 've been there ten years plus , mustn't they ?
    19. They have a serious side but they must have a lighter side as well , mustn't they ?
    20. It must be , mustn't it ?
    21. Yeah. The profit would have been minus cos the costs would still be there so it must be a cancellation . Mustn't it ?
    22. Yes, now this shows it must be his imagination , mustn't it ?
    23. …they must know there is a risk , mustn't they .
    24. It must mean something , mustn't it ?
    25. Six pairs of knickers must be enough , mustn't it , Charlie?
    26. Then it must be Madame V in Paris , mustn't it ?
    27. Everybody who sees her must love her , mustn't they , Ellen?
    28. But he must like her a bit , mustn't he ?
    29. Saturday night. Yeah? Yeah. So he must be doing well, mustn't he?
    30. Yeah. Okay. So what, they must be staying, staying the Saturday night, mustn't they?
    31. ..., they must of only just learnt to drive look, seventeen, mustn't they ?
    32. ...they must've been there ten years plus, mustn't they ?
    33. They have a serious side but they must have a lighter side as well, mustn't they ?
    34. Somebody must have reported him, though , mustn't they ?
    35. He must have to have about half a dozen though , mustn't he ? I'm sure he has half a dozen.
    36. He must have been interested in cooking , mustn't he ?
    37. Exactly why, he must have had some sympathy , mustn't he ?
    38. ...he must have got a lot of propaganda out of this , mustn't he ?
    39. But he must like her a bit , mustn't he ?
    40. That one must of been the day the boys come up from school Yeah . mustn't it ?
    41. Six pairs of knickers must be enough , mustn't it , Charlie?"


    http://www.americancorpus.org/:
    1. You must have enjoyed those, didn't you?
    2. And you must have had a name, didn't you?
    3. Oh Patrick, I must have told you -- didn't I?
    4. Must have seemed like an eternity, didn't it, holding your breath?
    5. Must have had three kids, did she?
    6. I'm sure they must be exaggerating, aren't they, Professor?
    7. You must have called an undertaker by now, haven't you?

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