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Thread: Mr.

  1. Unregistered


    can someone help understand why this sentence is correct:
    It's impossible - they mustn't have finished it already!

    rather than:

    It's impossible - they can't have finished it already!

  2. Neillythere's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
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      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 537

    Re: Mr.


    As a Brit, but not a teacher:

    I'd need to know more of the context to reply properly, but, on the information provided so far, I would agree that the 2nd sentence is the more likely one that I would use.

    The 1st sentence suggests that they are not allowed to finish yet, whereas the 2nd sentence suggests that they couldn't possibly have finished yet, as, say, you would have expected them to have spent much more time just physically responding to the question, without taking into account the time to think up an answer!

    Hope this helps


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