Does German have a way of expressing this? If for example, someone said they were playing a card game and lost and you wanted to reply--jokingly--oh, they must have cheated!....how would you say that in German?

Muessen....haben, doesn't quite seem to work.

Another example:

-Where is Bob? He isn't here yet?

-Hm, he must have forgotten.

1 Answer 1


Müssen ... haben works fairly well in German and quite the same way as in English:

"Wo ist Bob? Ist er noch nicht hier?"
"Hm... er muss es vergessen haben."

There are alternatives, such as:

"Er wird es vergessen haben."

meaning "I assume he has forgotten [about it]".

A famous example from German literature:

Jemand mußte Josef K. verleumdet haben, denn ohne daß er etwas Böses getan hätte, wurde er eines Morgens verhaftet.

(Franz Kafka: Der Prozess)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.