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  1. Member
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    #1

    Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    -- Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.
    -- No, he ____ , because he didnt know my address.
    A. couldnt
    B. can
    t
    C. mustn
    t
    D. may not

    (from an exercise book)


    The answer key is A, but I think the correct answer should be B. What do you say?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by touchstone; 11-Nov-2016 at 01:26.

  2. Moderator
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    #2

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    My favourite is 'mustn't'.

    They're clearly looking for A, but I think that should be 'couldn't have'.

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    #3

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    Thanks, Rover. What about the following sentencs?
    You cant have seen Mike yesterday. He has been abroad for a month.

    I wonder if the use of
    cant OK here.

    Thanks again.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    I would use couldn't, but doesn't know my address works better for me.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by touchstone View Post
    You cant have seen Mike yesterday. He has been abroad for a month.
    That works. My previous post was about your first question.

  6. Member
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    #6

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    You can't have seen Mike yesterday. He has been abroad for a month.

    In the first sentence above, “can't” is OK. I wonder why“can't isn't OK for the following question. The situations of the sentences above and the question below are quite similar, I think.

    -- Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.
    -- No, he ____ , because he didn't know my address.

    I think we can paraphrase the question as “Mr Smith can't have been to my home this morning, because he didn't know my address.”
    What do you think?
    Thanks very much.

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    #7

    Re: Mr Smith must have been to your home this morning.

    It's OK as you've written it, but couldn't have been would be much more likely in AmE.
    I am not a teacher.

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