must/should/have to

Status
Not open for further replies.

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
1-Their work should be over by the time we arrive.
2-Their work has to be over by the time we arrive.
3-Their work must be over by the time we arrive.

4-They should finish their work by the time we arrive.
5-They have to finish their work by the time we arrive.
6-They must finish their work by the time we arrive.

Which of the above express:
a-an inference and the idea of likelihood (their work will very probably be over by that time)
and which:
b-an obligation (it is their obligation to finish their work by that time)


Gratefully,
Navi,
 

billmcd

Key Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
You first, Navi. :-D
 

azz

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
French
Home Country
France
Current Location
United States
OK. Challenge accepted!

I would say the ones with "should" could mean either that there is an obligation for the work to be finished by that time or that is it likely that it would be finished by that time.

To me, "5" and "6" only carry the idea of obligation. I am less sure about "2" and "3". I would say that in general they would convey the idea of obligation, but maybe by stressing "has to" and "must" one could make the sentences express the idea that it is highly likely that the work would be finished by then.

Gratefully,
Navi.
 

billmcd

Key Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
1-Their work should be over by the time we arrive. My inference with this out of context statement is that there is a likelihood that the work will be finished.

2-Their work has to be over by the time we arrive. Obligation or strong probability as in "They have been working on this for three days. It must be over by the time we arrive". Context.
3-Their work must be over by the time we arrive. Same as above.

4-They should finish their work by the time we arrive. I don't like the way this is stated. For likelihood: "They should have finished the work by the time we arrive". For obligation: "The work must be finished by the time we arrive" or as in #5..
5-They have to finish their work by the time we arrive. Obligation. But I don't like this either. I would rather, "They have (have got) to have finished etc."
6- They must finish their work by the time we arrive. Obligation but prefer "must have finished" and could be "a" or "b"
a-an inference and the idea of likelihood (their work will very probably be over by that time)
and which:
b-an obligation (it is their obligation to finish their work by that time)


Gratefully,
Navi,

My thoughts. By the way, do you have two member ID's? If so, why?
 
Last edited:

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
Thanks a lot Bill for the detailed reply,

Azz is my girlfriend. She must have logged in and forgetten to log out! She rarely visits the site. I just thought things were as I had left them on the computer, but apparently she has come to the site.

My apologies.
Navi.

PS. Apparently it was my mistake. I used the Mozilla engine while normally I use IE. She uses that one and she stays logged on. I did not know that. Sorry. In any case, I take full responsibility for the mistake.
 
Last edited:

5jj

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
I did not know that. Sorry. In any case, I take full responsibility for the mistake.
These things happen. It was just rather confusing that a post apparently from azz was signed 'Navi'.
 

navi tasan

Key Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2002
Member Type
Academic
Native Language
Persian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
United States
Thanks 5jj.

We will try not to create this kind of confusion again.

Gratefully,
Navi
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top