Must: (used in a conclusion to say that something is very likely)

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Hello everyone,

I already know that "must" can be used in conclusions to say that something is very likely. The problem is that no dictionaries or grammar books tell me if my specific uses of "must" are fine. My question: Does "must" sound natural/correct in the specific examples I created below?

a. Anna, you must love Spanish. I see you studying Spanish every day.
b. Mary must like her boyfriend a lot. She does everything he asks her to.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Yes, it does make sense and it sounds natural. It is logically very likely. It is consistent with the way you behave.
    "You must really care about this person; otherwise, you would never have lent him the money."
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    This use of "must" is a sort of shorthand for "I must conclude that..." or "it must be true that". Your examples are how it is normally said. Here is each of them written out in more detail:

    "Anna, I see you studying Spanish every day. Therefore it must be true that you love Spanish. It is the only reasonable conclusion."

    "Mary does everything her boyfriend asks her to do. Why does she do that? Logically the answer must be that she likes him a lot."

    In general "must" means "is forced to". In this use, the speaker "is forced to" make this logical conclusion: the "must" is not anything that Anna or Mary "is forced to" do.

    We often use it in conversations like this:

    A: You must hate peas. (I feel sure that you hate peas)
    B: What makes you think that?
    A: I've noticed you hiding them rather than eating them.
    B: Haha! You caught me! It's true. I can't stand them!
     
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