+0

Hi there,

It's a must .... it's a must-have ... it's a must-see .... it's a must-try ...

Could you please comment on this 'construct'? (is it very informal? can one omit '-'?, etc.) .... and perhaps add more similar expressions to the list?

vlivef

+1

This pattern is moderately informal, but suitable for most contexts. Properly, the hyphen is required. In theory any verb can be used, but in practice a relatively small set of short, common verbs would mostly be used. It can be used either as a modifier, or standing as a noun, with the modified noun implied. Some more examples in addition to the ones you mention are:

a must-buy
a must-do activity
a must-win game
a must-watch
a must-read

Comments  
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

Thank you for your explanation/comments!

One more question if I may:

Is the sentence "Both books are a must-read" correct grammar? ( How to turn "a must-[verb]" into the plural?)

vlivefIs the sentence "Both books are a must-read" correct grammar? ( How to turn "a must-[verb]" into the plural?)

Generally speaking, the forms "Both Xs are + plural noun" and "Both Xs are a + singular noun" are both seen. Opinions may vary about which is the more logical. In your case this translates to "Both books are must-reads" and "Both book are a must-read", both of which might be used.