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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    must not have been?

    Is it possible to say "He must not have been right" for the following of a negative presumption?

    ex)He can't have been right.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: must not have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Is it possible to say "He must not have been right"
    It is not impossible, especially if, in speech, we stress 'not'. I don't recommend it.

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Question Re: must not have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    It is not impossible, especially if, in speech, we stress 'not'. I don't recommend it.

    Is it common for the British speakers to say, 'he can't have been right' instead?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: must not have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    Is it common for the British speakers to say, 'he can't have been right' instead?
    Yes, it is.

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    #5

    Re: must not have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Yes, it is.
    What would be more common to put the negative connotation using "not"or use an adjective that bears the negative meaning itself?

    "He could have been wrong." or "He couldn't have been right."

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: must not have been?

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    What would be more common to put the negative connotation using "not"or use an adjective that bears the negative meaning itself?

    "He could have been wrong." or "He couldn't have been right."
    They mean different things. The first means that it's possible that he was wrong and it's possible that he was right. The second means that it's not possible that he was right.

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