'Must have' for hypothetical past situations

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germanictamoon

Senior Member
Hindi (West Uttar Pradesh)
Hi all,
can 'must have' be used like would have, should have, could have and might have to describe the situations of hypothetical past?
For instance,
'If George had not provided the necessary help in time yesterday, my brother must not have survived the asthmatic attack'. ( i.e. it was sure my brother would die but George turned up in time and took my brother to hospital and consequently my brother lived.)
Thank you very much.
 
  • No. I don't thinks so.
    By the use of 'must have p.p, you mean you are now very assured that something was the case, but stiil you keep open the possibility of its not being true.
     
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    rhitagawr

    Senior Member
    British English
    No. The sentence should read 'If George had not provided the necessary help in time yesterday, my brother would not have survived the asthmatic attack.'
    'Must have' can denote a logical conclusion. 'His coat's not here so he must have gone home.'
    Cross-posted with coolieinblue.
     
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