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    #1

    Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Normally, we use

    would not have been, wouldn't have been with statements involving "would have been".

    So statements with "must have been" are turned into negative statements in this way

    must not have been.

    But I have never heard contractions like

    mustn't have been

    Do you guys say mustn't have been?

    She must be in her room.
    She mustn't be in her room.

    He must have eaten his dinner by now.
    He mustn't have eaten his dinner by now.

    They must have been driven crazy.
    They mustn't have been driven crazy.

    Regards
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    We normally use can't as a negative of must in such contexts.

    Please stop addressing me/us as 'you guys'.

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    #3

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    In AmE we don't contract must not. We say She must not be in her room, etc.

    The sentence He must not have eaten his dinner by now does not make sense. It's OK though if you leave off the last two words.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    We normally use can't as a negative of must in such contexts.

    Please stop addressing me/us as 'you guys'.
    Please don't take it seriously Piscean, I said it habitually.

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    #5

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In AmE we don't contract must not. We say She must not be in her room, etc.

    The sentence He must not have eaten his dinner by now does not make sense. It's OK though if you leave off the last two words.
    Yes that's why I said I have never heard "mustn't" I don't know if this contraction is used in modern British English or not.

    He mustn't have eaten his dinner by now.
    what I meant to say in the statement was that I was not sure if he had eaten his dinner by that time.

    are "by now" the last two words you are talking about?

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    #6

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    Yes that's why I said I have never heard "mustn't" I don't know if this contraction is used in modern British English or not.

    He mustn't have eaten his dinner by now.
    what I meant to say in the statement was that I was not sure if he had eaten his dinner by that time.

    are "by now" the last two words you are talking about?
    Yes.

    I think (but could easily be wrong) that BrE-speakers still use mustn't when telling someone not to do something, and in the old-fashioned phrase mustn't grumble. Google's n-gram viewer tells me that use of mustn't grumble peaked in 1900 and has dropped dramatically since then.
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    #7

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aamir Tariq View Post
    Please don't take it seriously Piscean, I said it habitually.
    It's time to get out of the habit.

    Say 'you people' or just 'you'.

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    #8

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    It's time to get out of the habit.

    Say 'you people' or just 'you'.
    Ok, Rover, I have started using "you people" even before I read this post. Anyway would you like to shed some light on this contraction "mustn't" too. Is it used in British English?

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    #9

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    "Mustn't" is quite normal in AusE. Note that, like 'must', it has two meanings depending on the context.
    "He mustn't be at home": 1) "It must be such that he is not at home" (since he's not answering his phone). 2) "He is obliged not to be at home."
    Last edited by Raymott; 06-Apr-2016 at 19:00. Reason: typo

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    #10

    Re: Negative statements involving must, must have and have been.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I think (but could easily be wrong) that BrE-speakers still use mustn't when telling someone not to do something.
    You are not wrong.

    However we rarely use it in AusE sense "It must be such that x is not ". We normally use can't.

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