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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > ´She mustn ´t have been late ´    

´She mustn ´t have been late ´

Russian Federation

´She mustn ´t have been late ´
 Dear colleagues! Tell me please what is wrong in the sentence ´She mustn ´t have been late ´. Thanks!

5 Jan 2015      


Dear Sniggy,
Well, it depends on what modality you mean..
If you mean unadvisability in the past, then the proper whay to express it is; "She shouldn´t have been late." (i.e. using ´should´ as a modal perfect). But if you mean certainty in the past, then in this case you should use ´must´ as a modal perfect-- that is; "She must have been late". 
I hope this helps.. ;)

5 Jan 2015     


If you want to express reproach / regret / or disaapproval about something that happened in the past, use shouldn ´t / oughtn ´t + have + past participle of the main verb = She shouldn ´t have been late.
If you want to make a deduction expressing certainty something didn ´t happen, use can ´t / couldn ´t + have + past participle = She can ´t / couldn ´t have been late. ( meaning : I ´m sure she wasn ´t late)

5 Jan 2015     

Russian Federation

Thank you so much!!! Happy New Year! :)

5 Jan 2015