[Grammar] He could have kicked him, because he had insulted him vs insulted him

Gunner1999

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Hi. Can I use the past perfect before modal verbs?
1. He might have kicked him, because he had insulted him.
2. He might have kicked him, because he insulted him.
Thanks
 

GoesStation

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I think you mean after modal verbs. I don't know if there's a general rule here, but both your sentences are possible if you remove the commas.
 

teechar

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Those sentences are potentially ambiguous. Who kicked/insulted who?

Also, note that "might/could have" can be used for an imaginary (unreal) past action. It's often used as an imaginary (unreal/impossible) suggestion.
She could/might have said something to her boyfriend when she had the chance. [She didn't say anything to her boyfriend.]
 
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