Frankly, I am someone who likes to put everything in a language into an analysis. I don't want to memorize it directly. As you know, must have +v3 is used for statements that were in the past and completed there.

When considering the example below, it will be more clear.

"When you got lost in the forest you must have been very frightened."

This sentence means, the process of him being frightened was completed in the past, he is not frightened anymore.

But you know if we throw the part "must", so it is just, "you have been very frightened." that means that he is still frightened, but when we add must before it, then the present perfect loses its feature that something mentioned there also connects to the current time.

i hope you could understand what i tried to explain, when we add a must before present perfect, the present perfect's meaning changes to the past perfect.

you must had been very frightened (the meaning is something like that i think, if we were able to use "had" after must, then it would be the same meaning in the first sentence "you must have been very frightened.")

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    "you have been very frightened." that means that he is still frightened. No it doesn't. Jan 14 at 13:44
  • the link is here: "dictionary.cambridge.org/de/grammatik/britisch-grammatik/…" Past events, present results We use the present perfect simple when a single past action has a connection with the present: She’s broken her arm in two places. (Her arm is still broken now.) Jan 14 at 13:47
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    Note, that's just one example, not a sweeping rule. It's in a section showing that one of the uses is when "there's a connection to the present." Consider: "I've been to the store": I'm back now. There are similar examples higher on the page. Jan 14 at 13:58
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    I'm still thinking about your core question, but I think it has to do with "have" doing double duty in two phrasal things: "must have" and "have been." Jan 14 at 14:00
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    'I have broken my arm on two occasions' does not necessarily mean my arm is still broken now. Jan 14 at 14:00


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