I'm having a disagreement with two of my (non-native English speaker) country people about the (un)grammaticality of the following sentences:
- I had to tell him at least five times before he actually did it.
- I must have told him at least five times before he actually did it.
I'm saying that sentence 1 sounds OK while sentence 2 is odd and ungrammatical. They're saying the opposite.
Could anyone help us here?
(I know must can be used in the past in some circumstances ("he knew he must do it"), but it still strikes me as mostly a present-tense (or present-perfect tense) verb. And as such, I don't think it should be put before a past event. What do you think?)