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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Help with two multiple questions!    

Help with two multiple questions!


Help with two multiple questions!
These two questions were provided in a long test for the students. The students couldn �t agree in which answer is correct, neither could I decide. Can you please help me? And can you say why?

1. I missed the train, so I ................ take the next one.
     A. must              B. had to

2. We .................. play tennis every day when we were young.
     A. would            B. used to 

2 Oct 2012      


Sentence 1 is in the simple past so the correct answer is "had to".

"Must" can not be the correct answer because it refers to a present context.

2 Oct 2012     


I would say:

1. we had to, because it happened in the past.
2. both are correct, can that be?

2 Oct 2012     

United States

I have to disagree with the answers you have received.
1. If the person is at the train station, having missed the previous train and waiting for the next one, the choice is "must". If the entire situation is in the past and is now being reported, it is "had to".
2. Yes, pilarmham, both are correct, although "used to" is much more common. Remember that "would" is the simple past of "will" (also the conditional form), so when telling about a past situation, we can use "would" for what would have been a future occurance at that time.

2 Oct 2012     


As if it is a test and it is supposed to choose the only variant without any circumstances because we should choose the common widespread variant of answer, I would take these:

1. had to (the first verb missed is in the past and we can believe that it is a past period of time => had to). 

2. used to (we were young and we played tennis at those times; used to=repeated actions in the past)

2 Oct 2012     


1) had to
2) Both

2 Oct 2012     


Bruce, if the sentence were "I�ve missed the train," then "must" would be correct.

1) had
2) both ( as it�s a repeated action in the past and we can use  either used to or would)

2 Oct 2012     

United Kingdom

1) b
2) b

(on balance..)

2 Oct 2012     

United States

Yes, Mariec, it is also correct with "I �ve missed the train" (since there is a definite connection with the present), but what I said is correct, too. Your friend asks you why you are standing at the station at 9:00 in the morning. You can correctly say, "I missed the train (a single, completed action in the past, so Past Simple is correct), so I must take the next one."

2 Oct 2012     

Czech Republic

Hello there,
I agree with Bruce�s answers. And I�d like to say this - persoally I hate the test questions like these ones where - without any other context - there are more correct options. In such cases they are only confusing and students or pupils get discouraged to learn English. It seems to them too difficult and tricky. So be careful while preparing your own test questions.  Have a nice day.

3 Oct 2012     

Czech Republic

in both cases both answers are correct. In the first one the difference is in the meaning. The number 2a is pretty infrequent, but right.

3 Oct 2012     

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