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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    must have / might have

    Hi,

    https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/57467f8f4e32dc1bea7ed401

    Nobody answered the phone at the clinic. It ......... closed early.

    The key: must have

    Why not 'might have'? I'm asking becasue I think there is no clear answer for it.

    Thanks.

  2. VIP Member
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    #2

    Re: must have / might have

    Correct, there's no clear answer. might have is also possible. The question is not a good one.

  3. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: must have / might have

    Nobody answered the phone at the clinic. It ......... closed early.
    In light of the first sentence and the information provided by TheParser in the threads below, I think "may have" would strictly be better than "might have" here:

    Nobody answered the phone at the clinic. It may have closed early.

    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...-or-might-have
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...made-a-mistake

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: must have / might have

    The person writing the quiz thinks that if they're not answering the phone, then you can be fairly sure that they have closed. Quizzes are not perfect tools, but you can see what they're looking for.

  5. VIP Member
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    #5

    Re: must have / might have

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The person writing the quiz thinks that if they're not answering the phone, then you can be fairly sure that they have closed. Quizzes are not perfect tools, but you can see what they're looking for.
    Right. To us native speakers, it's fairly obvious the expected answer is must have. Unfortunately, for many learners, this is not obvious at all. The question becomes less about grammatical form than about how native speakers think.

  6. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: must have / might have

    They may have been so busy that nobody could answer the phone.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: must have / might have

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Right. To us native speakers, it's fairly obvious the expected answer is must have. Unfortunately, for many learners, this is not obvious at all. The question becomes less about grammatical form than about how native speakers think.
    It is indeed hard to anticipate every possibility, and I have done this when writing online quizzes. This is why serious exams get very thoroughly tested.

  8. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: must have / might have

    In theory, the incorrectness of "might have" would exclude that option, but the quiz writer probably didn't know it was incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: must have / might have

    How would "might have" be incorrect?
    I am not a teacher.

  10. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: must have / might have

    Please refer to the links I gave in my first post, which lead to good explanations given at this forum. We don't know whether the clinic closed early. The possibility that it did is an undecided, factual possibility. We express that using "may": It may have closed early. "Might have" would technically indicate that we know that it did not close early. It would be appropriately used in a counterfactual context like this one: The clinic didn't hear about the bomb threat across the street. It might have closed early. That is, the clinic might have closed early if it had heard about the bomb threat across the street.

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