Will have and Must have

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Thomasage, Jul 12, 2018 at 10:05 PM.

  1. Thomasage Member

    Russian
    Hi there,

    I have read in a book about this grummar construction Will have + past participle we use when we think something actually happened for example:
    1) As it was cloudy yesturday, few people will have seen last night's lunar eclipse. (few people must have seen...)

    Do people use this construction nowadays because I have never heard? And what do Must have and Will have have in common, I'm confused because will is used to talk about past. :confused:



    Thanks in advance
     
  2. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Well yes, I would say it's not that uncommon in fact, this use of the future perfect tense to make a reasoned assumption or a logical deduction about something having happened.

    I came across an example earlier today in fact, where the context was that someone was seen to set off on a short journey, and so the sentence was: "He set off early this morning, so he will have arrived there by now". :)
     
  3. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    The "have" of "will have seen" is the part that makes it refer to past time.
    The whole construction means "I don't have direct knowledge, but I speculate that not many have seen it."
    If you want to associate "will" with the future, think of it as saying
    "We don't know now, but in the future, when we find out the facts, we will confirm that few have seen it."
     
  4. thetazuo

    thetazuo Senior Member

    China
    Chinese - China
    I feel more comfortable with the following versions:

    1. As it was cloudy yesturday, few people would have seen last night's lunar eclipse.
    2. He set off early this morning, so he would have arrived there by now".

    Are my versions also OK?:)
     
  5. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    Your versions sound natural to me, thetazuo.
    I suppose "will" implies more confidence in the speculation, and "would" implies less.
     

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