will have forgotten something by now

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Senior Member
Dear Sirs/Madams,

I have found an interesting example of using future perfect in my grammar textbook that I am not sure I understand correctly.

The example: Most people will have forgotten the fire by now.
Is it the same as 'Most people must have forgotten the fire by now.
And is there any difference between the sentences?

  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    The difference is that the first states what is claimed as fact, whereas the second version states a probability. "Will have" is meant to be factual; "must have" is speculative.


    Senior Member
    English (US)
    I would say the second sentence is a little awkward. As MuttQuad mentioned, using "must" is a way of avoiding a claim that implies certainty. However, another way to do this is saying "most people" rather than "everyone." So, the second sentence is bit redundant. At least in my experience, the first example sounds more natural.
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