# must/should/have to

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#### navi tasan

##### Key Member
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
You first, Navi. :-D

#### azz

##### Member
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
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?

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#### navi tasan

##### Key Member
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.

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#### 5jj

##### Moderator
Staff member
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
Thanks 5jj.

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

Gratefully,
Navi

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