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    #1

    Grammar

    If any of the girls were awake, they'd know something was wrong. And no one must ever, ever know that anything had happened.

    It's understood that English novels is generally written in past tense. In above paragraphy, "must" is used in present tense. And "had to" is the past form for "must" according to grammer. Why is "must"? Please.

  1. Lisa Marie's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Grammar

    this sentence is not past tense but present tense. "were awake" and "They'd know" is conditional, and must is present tense.

    It is right that most novels are written in past tense but that dosen't mean that they all have to be.

    greetings lisa

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    If any of the girls were awake, they'd know something was wrong. And no one must ever, ever know that anything had happened.

    It's understood that English novels is generally written in past tense. In above paragraphy, "must" is used in present tense. And "had to" is the past form for "must" according to grammer. Why is "must"? Please.
    There's no simple past tense for 'must', so it is acceptable to use it this way.
    You can't use 'had to' here because the meaning is not "No one had to ever know ...."
    Your grammar rules for modal verbs will sometimes break down with negatives (in this case) or other odd uses. They aren't easy to make rules about.

    Yesterday I stole her jewelry. I was very careful since no one must ever know I did it.

    'Must' can sometimes be used in the past tense. Its form in this case is 'must'.

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