Modal verbs perfect tense explained in English Lesson 48

In this English lesson 48 we explain Modal verbs perfect tense are referred to as Modal perfect”, in English

Modal Verbs in the perfect tense
Modals in the perfect tenses


1/English Sentence Practice

You should have told me that you were calling a taxi. I have a company account with Ooba and I get special rates.

You shouldn’t have told your mum that I was having a scan, she is such a worrier.

Should I have lied to her, she could have found out afterward. She could have taken it badly.

She might have thought that we were shutting her out. I could have offended her and she can be rather sensitive.

I could see that the first time I met her. Was she ever in amateur dramatics?

Don’t start darling. Those who live in greenhouses shouldn’t throw stones.

OK, it’s a fair cop. I should have avoided any confrontation.

My record in winning domestic arguments compares only with that of English world cup triumphs in the last fifty years.

I spoke to our friends Martin and Glennis, they might have found a new house at last.

Where’s the taxi it should have arrived by now?  I ought to phone them.

Wait I think they must have had a problem with traffic.

A car sounds its horn outside. That must be the taxi, we should get a move on.

Have you got everything?

English Vocabulary

2/ Vocabulary Practice

  • The Modal Perfect.
  • You should have told me
  • to call a taxi.
  • a company account
  • special rates.
  • You shouldn’t have told
  • such a worrier.
  • to lie to
  • to take badly.
  • She might have thought
  • to shut someone out. to offend
  • oversensitive.
  • to meet someone
  • ever
  • amateur dramatics
  • Don’t start!
  • Those who live in greenhouses shouldn’t throw stones.
  • OK, fair enough.
  • to avoid confrontation.
  •  record
  • to win
  • domestic arguments
  •  world cup
  • triumphs
  • in the last fifty years.
  • they might have found
  • at last.
  • to sound the horn
  • outside.
  • to get a move on.

English Grammar modal verbs perfect

Modal Verbs Perfect

Modal verbs perfect tenses are referred to as Modal perfect. They are often used for deductions in the past. We use them to speculate about past actions or events.

What is a perfect infinitive?

Have + past participle (“have been”, “have done”, “have watched”…) is called the perfect infinitive.

Modal Verbs – review

When using a modal verb to talk about the present or past or conditional it is followed by a bare infinitive, an infinitive without “to”:

I must leave before rush hour.

We would read together.

Could you do me a favour?

Modal perfect: forms and use

In some cases, when using a modal verb to talk about the past, it is followed by a perfect infinitive (= have + past participle).

1/ could have + past participle

couldn’t have + past participle

could not have + past participle


could + perfect infinitive

They could have invited us to the wedding, instead they decided to only invite family.

You could have said something earlier. It is too late now.

I can’t find my wallet anywhere. I could have left in in the car. I’ll go and check.

“could + perfect infinitive” is used when we think something was possible in the past but we are not sure.

2/ should have + past participle

shouldn’t have + past participle

should not have + past participle


should + perfect infinitive

She shouldn’t have slammed the door. She got her finger stuck.

She should have called me. I would have picked her up.

They should have been here by now. Maybe they got lost.

English Speaking Practise

Questions and Answers

Did you tell me you were going out?

No, I should’ve told you.

And should you have told your mother?

Yes, I should have.

Do you need a degree for your job?

You don’t always need to have a degree but it helps.

Will you have to do a lot of research?

Unfortunately yes, I will have to.

You won’t have to write any more letters, will you?

No I won’t, I have finished.

Was it difficult?

Yes, we had to come up with three questions each.

Does he have to be so noisy?

Yes, he will slam the door every time he goes out.

I bet you have to be a good communicator in your job, don’t you?

You are right, it is essential.

Did you need to do that?

No I needn’t.

Will they have heard the news yet?

No, they won’t have heard the news.

Lesson 48 recap with Julia.

Pronunciation of the ed endings in Beginners English Course Lesson 31
Irregular Verbs in the simple past explained in English Lesson 32
Relative pronouns and relative clauses explained in English Lesson 33
Possessive form ending in s explained in English Lesson 34
Down load our present perfect simple pdf lesson 35
Superlatives and comparatives explained in English lesson 36
prepositions of time and place explained in English lesson 37
Spelling of adverbs in English explained in Lesson 38
question tags and tag questions in English explained in Lesson 39
present perfect progressive pdf explained in English Lesson 40
passive voice examples explained in English Lesson 41
passive voice exercises explained in English Lesson 42
Countable and uncountable nouns explained in English Lesson 43
Definite and indefinite articles explained in English Lesson 44
Modal verbs exercises explained in English Lesson 45
in on at exercises with answers explained in English Lesson 46
Obligation, possibility, probability explained in English Lesson 47
Modal verbs perfect tense explained in English Lesson 48
Question tags exercises pdf and further explanations Lesson 49
Conditional mood explained in English with examples Lesson 50

Exercises Lesson 48

Comprehension Practice

Vocabulary Practice

Grammar Practice

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