Exercise 1

Choose the correct option for each gap below.

1 Nobody knows exactly why he died. But we think it been an accident.

2 I revised more for the exam. I was lazy, and now I'll fail!

3 Sarah looked very happy. She passed her driving test.

4 I didn't know you were going to Phil's party yesterday. You told me!

5 I can't believe Jim hasn't arrived yet. He taken the wrong train.

6 I can't believe Jim hasn't arrived yet. He taken the correct train.

7 You been ill yesterday. Jessie saw you at the bowling alley.

8 I don't know where they went but they gone to Paris or Marseille.

9 You paid more attention. Now we are lost.

10 The window was broken, so the thieves got in through that window.


 

 

Modal verbs of deduction – summary chart

 
Past modal verbs of deduction
 

Modal verbs of deduction and speculation

 
We can use some modal verbs + infinitive to talk about how certain we are that something is or is not true. We can also use some modal verbs + have + past participle to talk about how certain we are that something was or was not true in the past.
 

must have done

 
We use must have + past participle to say that we are quite sure that something was true or happened in the past.

  • I can’t find my wallet! I must have dropped it in the taxi.
  • You must have had a real scare when you saw the crocodile. 

 

can’t have done

 
We use can’t/couldn’t have + past participle to say that we are quite sure that something did NOT happen or was NOT true in the past.

  • You can’t/couldn’t have seen John last night. He was in hospital. 
  • She can’t/couldn’t have passed the test. She didn’t even open the books. 

Note that for negative deduction we use can’t (NOT mustn’t)

  • He can’t be that famous. (NOT He mustn’t be that famous.)

 

could/might/may have done

 
We use might/may have + past participle to say that it’s possible that something was true or happened in the past.

  • It’s been three days. They might/may have finished painting the house by now. 
  • If they left at 9, they might/may have already arrived.

Note that we use might not or may not (NOT could not) to talk about a negative possibility.

  • She might/may not have heard us. Knock again. 

 

should/ought to have done

 
We use should have/ought to have + past participle to talk about a situation expected to happen in the past. This form is normally used for criticism.

  • You should/ought to have already packed your things. We’re going to be late. 
  • He should/ought to have studied more. Nobody fails if they study. 

 


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