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Modals with 'have'

Level: intermediate

We can use a modal verb with have and a past participle:

Subject Modal have Past participle  
They will have arrived by now.
You might have seen the film.
Jack and Jill would have been late.

We use a modal verb with have:

  • to refer back from the present:

It's nearly eight o'clock. They will have arrived by now.

  • to refer back from a point of time in the past:

We were very worried. We thought someone might have taken the car.

  • to refer back from a point of time in the future:

We won't eat until they arrive. They might not have had supper.

  • to refer to past time:

You should have helped her when she asked.
They might have got lost. Nobody knows where they are.

Modal verbs with have 1


Modal verbs with have 2




Hello Aniyanmon

These replies don't sound correct to me. Perhaps there is some context in which it would make sense to reply with 'would have' here, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot Kirk sir for the clarification.

Dear Sir,

Kindly tell me whether the following uses of "should have" (in future is correct.)

I should have completed the course by 2021.

My sister should have arrived by next week.

Thank you.

Hello Aniyanmon

Yes, both of those sentences are grammatically correct.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot sir.

Dear Sir,

I have seen the following question and answer in a spoken English book. Kindly tell me whether the answer of the question is correct. As far as I know "should have" is used as an advice. For example "You should have gone there". It is used in past situations. But in the following answer "should have" is used in a future situation. How is it possible sir?. So can I say now "today evening I should have left this place" (suppose now the time is 10 'o clock in the morning).

Que:Will you have passed tenth class examination by the next year?

Ans:Yes, I should have passed it by that time.

Thank you.

Hello Aniyanmon

As is explained just before the first exercise above, a modal verb plus 'have' can be used to refer back from a time in the future. In the question and answer you cite from the book, that future time is 'by next year' (or 'by that time'). So it is correct here.

Note that in this case, 'should' is not giving advice -- it is used to talk about probability (see the Certainty section on that page for more examples).

Thanks for asking this question on a more appropriate page.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your valuable reply.

That's very interesting to teach people how to increase their English level and specially the modal verbs because it makes problem to students and difficult to master as well,fortunately these courses have clarified us what blocked us.Thank you for your help.

I have a doubt. Can I use SHOULD HAVE with the third conditional?

If I had been a teacher, I should have taught children many important things.

Is this sentence correct?

I am really looking forward to knowing about it.