Please help with this:

**Name of the grammatical structure:

must have been.......**

This is the question i've been given and I'm finding it difficult to find the answer.

I've been instructed not to worry about the rest of the sentence.

But the rest of the sentence is : It must have been so frightening for Malak to see her mum so ill.

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    This is a sequence of three auxiliary verbs. Probably your teacher beiieves there is a special name for it, and that learning that name will teach you how to use this sequence. Maybe something with a number in it. Native English speakers never learn these things, and I wonder why non-native teachers feel so strongly about knowing names, especially since they are never standard linguistic names; they're always peculiar to one region. – John Lawler Aug 14 '20 at 16:59
  • @JohnLawler Couldn't we use a simple descriptive term such as "a modal construction of the verb 'to be'"(in which the names are universally known and used)? – LPH Aug 14 '20 at 17:06
  • That basically means "a sequence of three auxiliary verbs, of which one is a modal and another is be". Why not just list the three verbs? It's more accurate and shorter. – John Lawler Aug 14 '20 at 17:17
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    Tell that to the teacher!! – Xanne Aug 14 '20 at 18:45
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    @RamPillai 1. The verb form that follows a modal is a bare infinitive. "He must/will/might, etc go home." Thus we can have "He must/will/might, etc have gone home." 2 to must do" (which is expressed as "to have had to do") and must to do" are not possible. – Greybeard Sep 14 '20 at 8:55

I'm not sure if it has a specific name. But usually I refer to this topic as "Modals of deduction"(usually about present or future).

Exactly for your example it's "modals of deduction in the past".

When we say, "You must have been tired"(Because you worked hard that day), this is just our guess about the most possible past event or condition.

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  • "Modals of deduction" is about right for epistemic modals. I spose "Modals of authority" would refer to deontic modals. – John Lawler Jan 12 at 18:15

Suppose we say,

She will sing./ She will be singing./ She will have sung./ She will have been singing.

Now, trying setting your example in this mold:

It must frighten.../It must be frightening. / It must have frightened./ It must have been frightening.

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