- strong moral obligation, imposition and necessity
- prohibition in negative sentences
- strong probability about a past or a present event
1. The general state of things:
Her son has entered the university. (be proud) – She must be proud of him.
What have I done for him to talk to me like that? (be displeased with your work) – He must be displeased with your work.
Why did she get mad at me for such an innocent joke? ( no sense of humour) – She must have no sense of humour.
2. An event in the past:
He didn't come at nine as he had promised (fall ill) – He must have fallen ill.
She looks extraordinarily well (have a good rest) – She must have had a good rest.
Why did she bang the door if she knew I had a splitting headache?! (do it unintentionally) – She must have done it unintentionally
3. Something that is happening at the moment:
What’s the matter? He doesn’t answer the phone (sleep). - He must be sleeping (=be asleep)
She’s been awarded the first prize! (feel delighted). - She must be feeling delighted.
She asked me where the travel agency was (plan a holiday trip). - She must be planning a holiday trip
Why is she walking like that, with her eyes fixed on the ground? (look for something she has lost). - She must be looking for something she has lost.
4. Something that has been happening for some time already:
He looks tired. (work too much lately). - He must have been working too much lately.
I wonder if she is an experienced driver. (drive for three years at least). - She must have been driving for three years, at least.
He has bought a car at last! You should have seen his face when he told me about it. (dream about it all his life) - He must have been dreaming about it all his life.
Study the additional examples. Read aloud and translate. Read the starting sentence and give your own response.
By Luck We must have been walking for an hour, and still there is no village in sight. - We must have missed it in the dark. She left without saying good-bye. – He must have hurt her. She looks exhausted this morning. – She must have been dancing half the night. I’ve been running for an hour, and I am not at all short of breath. – You must have a strong heart. He didn’t come at six as he had promised. - He must have forgotten about the meeting. Why is she so upset? - She must have been fired. Why doesn’t he study here? It’s the best university in the city! – He must have failed his exams. Why doesn’t she want to watch the movie with us? – She must be busy with her homework. My dream is to go down the Amazon. But Pete doesn’t want to do it! – He must be afraid of extreme sports.
By Seagull It must have been at four of five in the morning. I must have been sleeping very well and must have failed to hear that loud explosion. It was probably a gas tank in the house nearby, but I may be wrong. I think I should have called the emergency service but I must have got worried and couldn’t think well. The injured people must have been crying. I must have heard nothing. That’s because I must have been shocked. The emergency must have come very fast. Now I can’t look at the house nearby. Probably it’s because I have a psychological trauma. I must go to the psychiatrist, because I have terrible dreams.
By Assa Why doesn’t he answer the door? – He must be talking on the phone.
What’s the matter with the car? – It must have a puncture.
Why doesn’t anyone answer the phone? – Everybody must have already left.
He is quite out of breath. – He must have been running.
She looks exhausted. – She must have been working all night long.
Why does she escape me? – You must have offended her.
Why does the cat keep mewing? – It must be hungry.
I can’t find the key. – You must have left it in the car.
She’s won the first prize. – She must be very proud of herself.
Study the following short dialogues. Reproduce. Dramatize.
a) - They are going to divorce after all. They must have been really desperate to save their spousal life. But it must be so tiring to quarrel every day. - Oh, no, it can’t be true! They seemed to be such a lovely couple. There must have been some misunderstanding between them, but I’m sure they will make peace soon. And more over, it must have been just a dirty rumour about their divorce. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear. b) – He is leaving the country – perhaps, for good. He must be packing his suitcases now.
-You don’t say so! He must have been joking when he told you such a thing! It is unbelievable that he has enough courage to give up his well-paid job, his family and friends. He must be planning just a holiday trip, and that’s all. You must have simply misunderstood him. - I don’t think so. But if you don’t trust my words, you must ask him. c) – I met her in the street today, and she passed by as if she didn’t know me!
- She must have failed to recognize you, don’t worry! She has poor eyesight, and it is natural of her to go by without saying hello. - Well, I’m afraid you are wrong…You should have been there and seen her eyes. She must have been very angry with me because of my last telephone call. I must have been rude to her that time and she must have had a grievance against me. - Then you must apologize to her. She must have been deeply hurt.