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  1. #1
    Tapies is offline Junior Member
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    past tense of "mustn't"

    Hi,
    please can you tell me how to express meaning of "mustn't" (when it is only my opinion) in the past tense?

    I mustn't do it today.
    I ??????? do it yesterday.


    I was not allowed or I was not supposed sounds to me as a someone else's order.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tapies View Post
    Hi,
    please can you tell me how to express meaning of "mustn't" (when it is only my opinion) in the past tense?

    I mustn't do it today.
    I ??????? do it yesterday.


    I was not allowed or I was not supposed sounds to me as a someone else's order.

    Thanks a lot.
    You can't use "must/mustn't" in the past tense. You would have to say, "I didn't have to do it yesterday".

  3. #3
    Tapies is offline Junior Member
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Thank you for your answer.

    Yes, I know that, but "don't have to" is not "mustn't" in meaning. So if I want to express "mustn't" in the past tense I can't say "didn't have to".

    Regards.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tapies View Post
    Thank you for your answer.

    Yes, I know that, but "don't have to" is not "mustn't" in meaning. So if I want to express "mustn't" in the past tense I can't say "didn't have to".

    Regards.
    What is your understanding of "I must not......" in the present tense then?

  5. #5
    Tapies is offline Junior Member
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    My understanding has always been this:

    "The negative form of 'must' expresses the idea that something is prohibited - this form is very different in meaning than the negative of 'have to'! "
    (http://esl.about.com/library/grammar/blmusthave.htm)

    But I might be wrong.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tapies View Post
    My understanding has always been this:

    "The negative form of 'must' expresses the idea that something is prohibited - this form is very different in meaning than the negative of 'have to'! "
    (http://esl.about.com/library/grammar/blmusthave.htm)

    But I might be wrong.
    This is a quote from your link: "IMPORTANT: The past form of 'have to' and 'must' is 'had to'. Must does not exist in the past." So, the verb "to have" is employed for the past: "Yesterday I had to go to work". How then, are you going to write that it wasn't necessary for you to go to work using the verb "to have"? "I didn't have to go to work yesterday".

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Before the auxilliary "did" came into use in English you would have used "Hadn't to".

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Before the auxilliary "did" came into use in English you would have used "Hadn't to".
    I remember my grandfather saying, for instance "I hadn't to go to work yesterday because it was Sunday". It never really occurred to me why he used this.

    Presumably, before "did" came into use as an auxiliary, "I didn't go to work yesterday", would have been the rather archaic "I went not to work".

    Interesting!

  9. #9
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I remember my grandfather saying, for instance "I hadn't to go to work yesterday because it was Sunday". It never really occurred to me why he used this.

    Presumably, before "did" came into use as an auxiliary, "I didn't go to work yesterday", would have been the rather archaic "I went not to work".

    Interesting!
    Yes, "I went not" but, probably more likely, "I hadn't to go". It is interesting isn't it? I like English wihout the auxilliary "did".

  10. #10
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    Re: past tense of "mustn't"

    Hmm. I thought the past form of must is must. Like cost.

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