(in case) somebody gets angry


Senior Member
Jennifer shouldn't be late In case her boss gets angry.

Jennifer mustn't be late In case her boss gets angry.

Hi, i think these two sentence don't make good sense and are incorrect.

Because (in case) = Her boss might get angry and might not then its no need to say
shouldn't or mustn't.

you agree with me?

Thanks in advance.
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    'In case' does not mean 'because perhaps [something may happen]'.

    'Jennifer shouldn't be late, in case her boss gets angry'.
    This sentence is not ungrammatical, but it only makes sense in an unusual situation of the kind illustrated in another thread.

    'Jennifer mustn't be late, in case her boss gets angry.'
    This sentence is grammatically correct and makes good sense.
    It means: 'Jennifer feels compelled not to be late, for fear that it would make her boss become angry'.
    Last edited:

    Beryl from Northallerton

    Senior Member
    British English
    sb70012, you are strongly advised to read both the following threads in full before starting any further threads on the subject of 'in case'.

    This is a "starter thread" – in post 3, panjandrum links to the second, very long thread below, and in post 5 he offers a brief summary:
    In case rain / In case it rains

    This is a 237-post thread in case you have the time and interest:
    << Do something "in case" something else (long thread).

    Thank you.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Ok, Thank you very much Beryl and thank you very much wandly. But would you please tell me
    the difference between?:

    Jennifer mustn't be lat
    Jennifer shouldn't be late

    i mean (shouldn't vs. mustn't)

    Many thanks.


    Senior Member
    English - British
    The example you have given for 'mustn't' is not straightforward.

    However, in general, 'must' implies an absolute compulsion or requirement.
    'Should', in the sense of obligation, expresses a requirement of morality, or of others' expectations, or the logic of a task; but it does not carry the sense of absolute compulsion involved in 'must'.
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