Grammar & Vocabulary YDS - YÖKDİL

past modals

  • must have + p.

Æ    a deduction about something that has happened.

Example:      If your mobile isn’t in your bag, you must have left it in the house.

  • can’t / couldn’t have + p.

Æ    a deduction about something that didn’t happen in the past.

Example:      I can’t have lost my wallet! (I’m sure I didn’t)

                   She couldn’t have said that!

  • could /may /may not/ might have / might have not + p.

Æ    something was possible but it didn’t happen.

Æ    it was possible that something happened in the past (but we are not 100% sure).

Example:      I could have passed my English test if I’d studied harder

                   He may have / may not have missed the bus.

                       The assistant might / might not have received her message.

  • should have + p.
  • something was positive or needed, but did not take place.

Æ it was possible that something happened in the past (but we are not 100% sure).

Example:      I should have phoned my sister last night, but I forgot. (I needed to phone my sister but I didn’t phone her)

                   John should have received the letter.

 

  • shouldn’t have + p.

Æ    something did take place but that wasn’t positive or needed:

Example:      You shouldn’t have eaten so many sweets, you’ll be sick. (You ate a lot of sweets and it wasn’t a good idea)

  • needn’t have + p.

Æ      something was done, but that it was not necessary.

Example:      Oh, you needn’t have done the washing up! (we’ve got a washing machine)

Exercise. Complete the sentences with a suitable modal verb in the past More than a solution is sometimes possible.

  1. Jack passed his exam with a good mark. He ______________________ (study) very hard.
  2. We found the exam very easy. We ______________________ (study) so hard.
  3. Robert failed his exam. He ______________________ (study) much.
  4. We ______________________ (hurry). We got there far too early.
  5. Meg’s looking very happy. She ______________________ (get) the prize she wanted.
  6. I can’t find my glasses anywhere. I ______________________ (leave) them on the train.
  7. Kate ______________________ (go) to Mary’s house.
  8. He was standing right next to you. You ______________________ (miss) him.
  9. He was here a moment ago. He ______________________ (go) far.
  10. He went to Alaska on holiday. It ______________________ (be) very cold.
  11. Jerry’s late. He ______________________ (miss) the bus.
  12. Jessica ______________________ (tell) lies.
  13. You ______________________ (phone) to say you were late. I’ve been waiting for hours.
  14. I’m so happy they didn’t find the safe. They ______________________ (take) everything.
  15. The thieves ______________________ (get) into the house through the window. It’s broken.
  16. You ______________________ (tell) me you were vegetarian. I’ve prepared lamb.
  17. Jason ______________________ (be) a professional tennis player but he wasn’t interested.
  18. You ______________________ (lose) your keys. We used them to open the door.
  19. Tony ______________________ (catch) the plane. He had plenty of time.
  20. My mum ______________________ (forget) to lock the door when she went out.
  21. You must be dreaming. You ______________________ (see) a puma in our garden.

22.They ______________________ (wait) outside until it was dark because nobody saw them.

  1. You ______________________ (come) to the station. I could have got a taxi.
  2. You should keep your dog on a lead! It ______________________ (cause) an accident.
  3. He ______________________ (receive) the fax. We sent it half an hour ago.

KEY:

  1. must have studied
  2. needn’t have studied
  3. should have studied
  4. needn’t have hurried
  5. must have got
  6. must have left
  7. can / may / might / have gone
  8. can’t have missed
  9. can’t have gone
  10. must have been
  11. must have missed
  12. shouldn’t have told
  13. could / might have phoned
  14. could / may / might have taken
  15. must have got
  16. might have told
  17. could / might have been
  18. can’t / couldn’t have lost
  19. should have caught
  20. could / may / might have forgotten
  21. can’t have seen
  22. must have waited
  23. needn’t have come
  24. might have caused
  25. should / must have recived

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