6

You must read the book, as must your brother.

I want to use this sentence to express the following meaning:

  • Your brother must read the book;
  • You also must read the book like your brother.

Is it natural?

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  • 3
    If by natural you mean idiomatic, then no, it's not natural. No native speaker, save a militantly pedantic parent from hell, would ever express the thought as "You must read the book, as must your brother." "Natural" would be "You and your brother both have to read the book," or similar. – P. E. Dant Jun 24 '17 at 19:15
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    OR You have to read the book, and so does your brother. – StoneyB Jun 24 '17 at 19:31
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    @P.E.Dant There are contexts and intonations that would not make this sentence sound unnatural or militantly pedantic, even said by an American. – Ben Kovitz Jun 25 '17 at 0:21
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    @BenKovitz I'm inclined to agree. It wouldn't come out of the mouth of an average parent, but if by "natural" OP means could someone word it that way without being suspected of not being a native speaker, then yes, it's natural. – Luke Sawczak Jun 25 '17 at 1:37
10

This sentence is grammatically correct, and unambiguously expresses your intended meaning. To my (American) ear, it sounds like a nineteenth-century novel. It does not sound natural to me. "As must" is now rarely used.

  • 2
    It reads naturally to me (as in, I can totally see it being in a 20th or 21st century novel). But I agree that it's not something I'd expect someone to say in speech, though I might not actually find it jarring in certain contexts. – Mehrdad Jun 25 '17 at 1:40
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    Think of a caricature of a mean-spirited boarding school principal. :) – Luke Sawczak Jun 25 '17 at 1:44
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    I believe it's only natural for cartoonishly formal characters but believe as you must. – candied_orange Jun 25 '17 at 4:01
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    @CandiedOrange I could say it so it wouldn't sound cartoonishly formal. The danger here, as in many questions like this, is that the context and intonation that a sentence makes you imagine first when it's presented out of context and in writing, is not the only kind of context and intonation that the sentence could have—and some of them can change one's perception of the sentence quite radically. I agree, though, that the answer is essentially right, at least for AmE. – Ben Kovitz Jun 25 '17 at 6:37
8

To my English ear

"You must read this book, as must your brother"

might easily and naturally be spoken by a parent forcefully emphasising to each sibling individually and without ambiguity that neither of them has a choice...

(Looking at one child) "You must read this book,..." (turning to look at the brother) "...as must your brother!"

  • 1
    Yes! That's exactly the scenario I imagined when I read the sentence. (Native AmE) – Ben Kovitz Jul 3 '17 at 22:53
5

It's correct, but sounds a bit old-fashioned or academic.

A more usual way of saying it would be "You have to read the book, and your brother does too."

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