Your shoes are shining:

  1. You must have mended your shoes.

  2. You must have your shoes mended.

This was the question given in an examination.

Most students and some teachers found the question difficult because of the structure.

I don't think this is a difficult question for students whose mother-tongue is English. However, I would like to clarify my doubt.

My question is:

Do students of native English speaking countries find the sentences difficult like the students In India unless the structure is explained?

  • 1
    It's really easy... until you try to explain it. – Ron Jensen Sep 13 '19 at 17:21

The difference between these two sentences is the verb clause.

1.You must have mended your shoes.

In the first sentence the verb is "must have mended" which, since mended is past tense, is past tense. This means you have already done the action of having your shoes repaired.

2.You must have your shoes mended.

In the second sentence, the verb is "must have" which is, by itself, an indefinite future tense phrase. The second sentence is telling "you" to take the action of having "your shoes mended."


I'm an Indian student studying in 8th Grade, and this question is very obvious to me.

You must have mended your shoes

Means that you have mended you shoes in the past and that's why they're shining.

You must have your shoes mended

Means that you must have your shoes mended by someone else in the future. They shouldn't be shining yet.

According to me this is something a 6th Grader should understand, however you haven't mentioned your students' grade.

  • @Holyprogrammer.I appreciate your answer and your knowledge in English.You might be an English medium student. But the students studying tenth class in Regional medium schools found it difficult – successive suspension Sep 13 '19 at 17:35

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