1. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    "Must not" in the past tense

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Hwaigon, Dec 13, 2015.

    How do you say it? Do you back-track it by saying "wasn't allowed to... at any cost"?
    Or, if you mustn't talk, you just say "I had to stay quiet." ?
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, you have to rephrase.

    You must not speak, if it were put into the past tense without rephrasing, would end up having a different meaning or would just be wrong.

    I must not spoke. This is simply incorrect grammar and is meaningless in modern English.

    I must not have spoken. This has meaning, but it doesn't mean one was forbidden from speaking; it means uncertainty in whether one did or did not speak. It's another way to say, I guess I didn't speak. It could also deliver irony/sarcasm in having said something, but no one having paid any mind to what you said.
     
    GingerCoffee and Hwaigon like this.
  3. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Thank you for elucidating insights. Much appreciated :)
     

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