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Past Modals of Deduction


Sara Ramirez

on 6 January 2014

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Transcript of Past Modals of Deduction

When we use a modal verb to talk about a situation where we are not expressing a fact but we are using deduction the form is:
MODAL + have + past participle (verb 3)
We can use modal verbs to talk about how sure or unsure we are about something in the past just as we use modals in the present with a slight change in the form.
Must + have + past participle
We use ‘must have + past participle’ when we are quite sure about something.
You must have been very pleased when you heard the news.
He must have forgotten his phone at home again. He’s not answering.
I must have left my keys in the car. I can’t find them.
Might have/may have/could have + past participle
We use ‘might have/may have/could have + past participle’ when we are not sure about something but we think it was possible.
He was supposed to be here an hour ago but he could have been stuck in a traffic jam.

Can’t + have + past participle
We use ‘can’t have + past participle’ for things that we are sure did not happen in the past.
I can’t have left my phone at work. You phoned me when I was walking to my car. That’s it. It must be in the car.
You can’t have seen him this morning. He was with me all the time.

Modals of deduction (past)

Introduction to Past
Modals of Deduction
Sara Ramirez
Vicky Renteria
Full transcript