has to/must/should/could/may

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peptidoglycan

Senior Member
Turkish
Tom ---- be home by now, but he isn't.

A) has to
B) must
C) should
D) could
E) may

I think there is no correct answer.

Thank you very much in advance.
 
  • peaceluvr

    Member
    English-AmEn
    I agree, answer C is correct. Answers A,B, and E imply that Tom could be home already, but the speaker unaware, making the statement rediculous. In order for answer D to be correct you are missing a crucial word, have, it could only make sense if it said "Tom could have been home by now, but he isn't" which suggests that Tom was held up or went on a detour on his way home.
     

    peptidoglycan

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    "Should" in this instance does NOT represent advice
    Rather, it expresses an idea of expectation or obligation
    Tom should be home by now = Tom was expected to be home by now
    I think that

    Tom should be at home by now. = I think he is probably at home.

    Am I wrong?
     

    kitenok

    Senior Member
    I think that

    Tom should be at home by now. = I think he is probably at home.

    Am I wrong?
    In your original sentence from post 1, peptid, this would be a more precise equivalent (as KHS indicated):
    Tom should be home by now. = I expected that Tom would be home by now.

    "I think he is probably at home" does not make logical sense with the fact that we know he is not at home.
     
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