These past modal verbs are all used hypothetically, khổng lồ talk about things that didn't really happen in the past.
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means that something was possible in the past, or you had the ability to do something in the past, but that you didn't bởi vì it. (See also modals of ability.) I could have stayed up late, but I decided to lớn go khổng lồ bed early.They could have won the race, but they didn't try hard enough.Julie could have bought the book, but she borrowed it from the library instead.He could have studied harder, but he was too lazy & that's why he failed the exam.Couldn't have + past participle
means that something wasn't possible in the past, even if you had wanted to vày it.I couldn't have arrived any earlier. There was a terrible traffic jam (= it was impossible for me lớn have arrived any earlier).He couldn't have passed the exam, even if he had studied harder. It's a really, really difficult exam.2: We use could have + past participle
when we want to make a guess about something that happened in the past. (See also modals of probability.) In this case, we don't know if what we're saying is true or not true. We're just talking about our opinion of what maybe happened.Why is John late?He could have got stuck in traffic.He could have forgotten that we were meeting today.He could have overslept.We can also choose lớn use might have + past participle
lớn mean the same thing:He might have got stuck in traffic.He might have forgotten that we were meeting today.He might have overslept.Should have + past participle1: Should have + past participle
can mean something that would have been a good idea, but that you didn't vị it. It's like giving advice about the past when you say it khổng lồ someone else, or regretting what you did or didn't vày when you're talking about yourself.
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means that something wasn't a good idea, but you did it anyway.I should have studied harder! (= I didn't study very hard and so I failed the exam. I'm sorry about this now.)I should have gone to lớn bed early (= I didn't go khổng lồ bed early and now I'm tired).I shouldn't have eaten so much cake! (= I did eat a lot of cake và now I don't feel good.)You should have called me when you arrived (= you didn't call me và I was worried. I wish that you had called me).John should have left early, then he wouldn't have missed the plane (= but he didn't leave early and so he did miss the plane).2: We can also use should have + past participle
to lớn talk about something that, if everything is normal and okay, we think has already happened. But we're not certain that everything is fine, so we use 'should have' và not the present perfect or past simple. It's often used with 'by now'.His plane should have arrived by now (= if everything is fine, the plane has arrived).John should have finished work by now (= if everything is normal, John has finished work).We can also use this to lớn talk about something that would have happened if everything was fine, but hasn't happened.Lucy should have arrived by now, but she hasn't.Would have + past participle1: Part of the third conditional.If I had had enough money, I would have bought a car (but I didn't have enough money, so I didn't buy a car).2: Because 'would' (and will) can also be used khổng lồ show if you want to bởi vì something or not (volition), we can also use would have + past participle
khổng lồ talk about something you wanted to bởi vì but didn't. This is very similar khổng lồ the third conditional, but we don't need an 'if clause'.I would have gone to lớn the party, but I was really busy.(= I wanted khổng lồ go lớn the party, but I didn't because I was busy. If I hadn't been so busy, I would have gone khổng lồ the party.)I would have called you, but I didn't know your number.(= I wanted to điện thoại tư vấn you but I didn't know your number, so I didn't call you.)A: Nobody volunteered lớn help us with the fairB: I would have helped you. I didn't know you needed help.(= If I had known that you needed help, I would have helped you.)Try an exercise about these past modals here.
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