Modals with 'have'

Learn about using have with modal verbs to refer back in time, and do the exercises to practise using it.

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

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Modal verbs with have 2

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Hi Goktug123,

Your first interpretation of the first sentence is correct -- the speaker supposes that the car was John's. The second sentence is similar to the first -- the speaker makes a supposition about a past event.

As you suggest, 'would have' + v3 is also commonly used in third conditional structures, which can be used, for example, to speak about regrets. For example, 'If I hadn't taken that job, I would have finished my studies.'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team