Modal verbs can be used in a variety of different forms. In a perfect tense it is called modal perfect where it functions as both a present perfect and simple perfect tense. Here the modal verb is used to express possibility or probability. But since the modal perfect is used to talk about the past, can we use words such as yesterday, last week, a month ago and the like?
Ex: 1) You could have played tennis after the match yesterday.
2) You shouldn't have gone with her to the movies last week.
Another example: He went to London a year ago - He may have gone / will have gone / must have gone / has to have gone to London a year ago.
This matter has been discussed in this forum earlier where it was opined that calling modal perfect a tense is disputable.
Originally Posted by Mag
Pls tell me the tense in this sentence "Where could i have dropped these things?"
Also, can you explain this sentence to me. Thanks
The person lost or dropped something and he/she is trying to figure out the possible places where that may have happened.
The tense is going to be arguable. Some call it the modal perfect. Others would call it the modal past. I suspect that some even call it the modal past perfect. It almost doesn't matter.
Student or Learner