Doctor is surprised that a man survived. [Modal?]

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New Member
Let's say that there was a guy who had eaten a very poisonous mushroom but he survived. A doctor reporting the case is suprised because nobody had ever survived eating this mushroom. What would he say?

a) The poison must have killed him! ( I think that it's wrong, because "must have +ed" is used to express a strong assumption and there is no assumption in this case, as the doctor knows that the patient lives)
b) The poison should have killed him! (This also doesn't convince me, as it sounds [to me] like the doctor had planned to kill the guy and is dissapointed that the poison did not work.

c) ?? What are your suggestions??

The sentence has to look like this "The poison ___________ him!" It's not from any grammar book. I've invented this example.
Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As we know from the context that the doctor isn't a would-be murderer, (b) is OK; otherwise, "Normally, the poison would have killed him."
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