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    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    must have to do sth

    I read these two sentences in Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (2005 edition) unit 18:

    I can't start the computer. You must have to know a password.
    John wasn't at home when I went round. He must have had to go out unexpectedly.

    This is the first time I've read sentences with 'must' used together with 'have to' and 'have had to'. I was surprised how these two modal verbs with the same meaning could be used side by side. Is it standard English?

    Thank you very much.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #2

    Re: must have to do sth

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    I read these two sentences in Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (2005 edition) unit 18:

    I can't start the computer. You must have to know a password.
    John wasn't at home when I went round. He must have had to go out unexpectedly.

    This is the first time I've read sentences with 'must' used together with 'have to' and 'have had to'. I was surprised how these two modal verbs with the same meaning could be used side by side. Is it standard English?

    Thank you very much.
    Sure, it's standard, Joham. This is epistemic must, denoting that the speaker is slightly less than 100% certain. If the speaker had been 100% certain, there would be no must.


    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 21
    #3

    Re: must have to do sth

    This is the first time I'm seeing this use too. I don't think it's frequently used right?


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: must have to do sth

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroNox View Post
    This is the first time I'm seeing this use too. I don't think it's frequently used right?
    Comparing it to a straight 'have to', no, it isn't all that common but I think [I could be wrong] that we tend to make more 100% statements of fact in English than qualified 100% statements.


    Results 1 - 10 of about 1,730,000 English pages for "must have to".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 53,700,000 English pages for "have to".


    • Join Date: Jan 2008
    • Posts: 21
    #5

    Re: must have to do sth

    I'd guess that such 100% assumptions make life easier. Besides, in laypeople's conversational English most would probably disregard the implication of "must".

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