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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
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      • South Korea
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    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    #1

    He must be an undercover agent.

    Hello, teachers.

    Which is a better negative form of the next sentence?
    "He must be an undercover agent."
    (1) He must not be an undercover agent.
    (2) He can't be an undercover agent.

    Thank you.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • British English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2009
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    #2

    Re: He must be an undercover agent.

    They're both potential negative forms. The original sentence has two potential meanings.

    1. All the evidence leads me to think he is an undercover agent.
    2. It is imperative/obligatory that he become an undercover agent.

    The two negative versions could mean:

    1. It is imperative/obligatory that he not become an undercover agent.
    2. He is not able to be an undercover agent.
    or
    2. The evidence leads me to believe that he is definitely not an undercover agent.

    With an exclamation mark at the end, 2 could mean "Wow! I can't believe it! I just found out he is undercover agent. I find it really hard to believe but apparently it's true."
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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