must have lasted

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must have lasted

Post by navi » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:15 am

Can one use:
1) It had to be about five o'clock when he came back.
instead of:
2) It must have been about five o'clock when he came back.


Can one use:
3) The meeting had to last for about three hours.
3a) The meeting had to have lasted for about three hours.

instead of:
4) The meeting must have lasted for about three hours.

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: must have lasted

Post by tony h » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:25 pm

navi wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:15 am
Can one use:
1) It had to be about five o'clock when he came back.
instead of:
2) It must have been about five o'clock when he came back.


Can one use:
3) The meeting had to last for about three hours.
3a) The meeting had to have lasted for about three hours.

instead of:
4) The meeting must have lasted for about three hours.

Gratefully,
Navi.
1 & 2 are pretty much equivalent. One might image that one conveys more certainty probably by its relation to other events.
The same comments apply to 3a and 4.

3) The meeting had to last for about three hours. This describes an obligation, in the past, for the meeting to carry on for about three hours. If it was just a recollection it would have been : the meeting must have lasted ...
eg

We were demonstration our electric car batteries. So we collected the delegates from the station in the electric cars, which was close to the end of the range for the batteries. The presentation we had planned was two hours but this wasn't going to be long enough to recharge the batteries for the return journey. The meeting had to last for about three hours. That would be enough to ensure enough power for the return journey.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

Re: must have lasted

Post by navi » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:42 am

Thank you very much, Tony,

How about these:

5) If he called you immediately after he talked to me, his phone had to be with him.
6) If he found his pen so rapidly, it had to be on his desk.

Do these work, or do we need 'had to have been' instead of 'had to be'?

Gratefully,
Navi.
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Re: must have lasted

Post by tony h » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:28 pm

With those either option works as well as the other. There are some odd, context specific, circumstances where one or other would be preferable.
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Signature: tony

With the right context almost anything can sound appropriate.

End of topic.
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