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Conversational structures with perfect infinitive

Posted By Manjusha, Filed in English Speaking

Perfect infinitives (have + past participle) can be used after modal verbs could, might, ought, should, would and neednít to refer to unreal situations.

  • I could have married her if I wanted to. (I didnít marry her.)
  • That was dangerous Ė he could have killed somebody. (He didnít kill anybody.)
  • You should have written Ė I was getting worried. (The person did not write.)
  • She neednít have invited them. (She invited them.)
  • You were stupid to try climbing up there. You might have killed yourself. (The person didnít kill himself.)
  • If she hadnít been so bad-tempered, I might have married her. (I didnít marry her.)
  • I ought to have phoned him this morning, but I forgot.
Grammar notes

The structure modal verb + perfect infinitive does not always refer to an unreal situation. It can also be used to talk about possibility.

  • She could/should/ought to/may/might/will have arrived by now.
Sections In This Article
Conversational structures with let
Conversational structures with need
Conversational structures with used-to
Conversational structures with had better
Conversational structures with if New!
Conversational structures with going to New!
Conversational structures with in case New!
Conversational structures with feel New!
Conversational structures with perfect infinitive New!
Conversational structures with for New!
Conversational structures with get New!
Conversational structures with the... the...New!
Conversational structures with too...toNew!

 

 

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