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  1. #1
    GentleBoy is offline Newbie
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    Thumbs up Alternative to "must have"

    Hi Teacher,

    Please tell me if there is any alternative to "must have". In my understanding "must have" is only used for expressing expectation in past.
    If the thing expected was less certain can I use "would have" instead.

    Example- You must have practiced music regularly as a child. (Meaning- 'You' are expected to have practiced... )

    Can the following sentence mean the same thing with less certainty.

    You would have practiced music regularly as a child.

    If it is not correct use, should we use "must have" even for the context with less certainty.

    Thanks,
    GentleBoy

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    There are some possible alternatives, but I like you must have`` best. To me it is the most idiomatic and natural. Examples:

    Beyond doubt you practiced music regularly as a child.

    It seems certain that you ...

    The only explanation for your prowess is that you ...

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    Quote Originally Posted by GentleBoy View Post
    Hi Teacher,

    Please tell me if there is any alternative to "must have". In my understanding "must have" is only used for expressing expectation in past.
    If the thing expected was less certain can I use "would have" instead.

    Example- You must have practiced music regularly as a child. (Meaning- 'You' are expected to have practiced... )

    Can the following sentence mean the same thing with less certainty.

    You would have practiced music regularly as a child.

    If it is not correct use, should we use "must have" even for the context with less certainty.

    Thanks,
    GentleBoy
    This can mean two things. 1) As a stipulation, for example as a requirement for entry to a prestigious music school. (Similar to your explanation, I think). 2) "You are so good, I assume that you practised regularly as a child".
    Other examples of the same:
    1) "You must have passed XY101 if you want to take XY201." - It is necessary for you to have passed.
    2) "You must have passed XY101. You seem to know a lot!" - It is likely that you have passed.

  4. #4
    GentleBoy is offline Newbie
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    This can mean two things. 1) As a stipulation, for example as a requirement for entry to a prestigious music school. (Similar to your explanation, I think). 2) "You are so good, I assume that you practised regularly as a child".
    Other examples of the same:
    1) "You must have passed XY101 if you want to take XY201." - It is necessary for you to have passed.
    2) "You must have passed XY101. You seem to know a lot!" - It is likely that you have passed.

    I am sorry. I think my question got lost somewhere in the discussion.
    Let me put it in a clear way.

    I am considering the context as "some regular activity which is expected to have been done in the past" .
    What I am wondering is when we use "must have" it represents certainty (if my understanding is correct).

    If "certainty" is NOT our concern how should I form the following sentence.

    You _________ have gone there many times.

    Please consider my context and tell me how should I fill up this. What are the possible answers ?

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    It is almost impossible to put accurate degree of certainty on these constructions, because individual speakers use them in different ways.As some speakers do not use the whole range, the ones they do use cannot have exactly the same meaning as when those are used by somebody who does use the whole range.

    My own personal view is:

    He did/didn't do it. Fact.
    He will have done / won't have done it. Certainty.
    He must/can't have done it. Logical certainty.
    He may / may not have done it. Possibility
    He might /might not have done it. Lesser Possibility.
    He could have done it = Similar to 'might have' or Potential ability at the time to do it

    would / wouldn't have done it is, for me, less certain than 'will/won't' and more certain than 'may / may not'.

    He couldn't have done it
    expresses, for me, a greater possibility of the past non-doing than 'may not'.

  6. #6
    GentleBoy is offline Newbie
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    1) "You must have passed XY101 if you want to take XY201." - It is necessary for you to have passed.
    I have a doubt in understanding this sentence. Which of the following is the correct meaning of "You must have passed XY101" in this sentence.

    You should have passed XY101.

    OR

    It is required to pass XY101.


    What is the context here. The context is "In general" or "past".

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative to "must have"

    Quote Originally Posted by GentleBoy View Post
    I have a doubt in understanding this sentence. Which of the following is the correct meaning of "You must have passed XY101" in this sentence.

    You should have passed XY101.

    OR

    It is required to pass XY101.


    What is the context here. The context is "In general" or "past".
    In order to take XY201 it is necessary to have passed XY101.

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