English Grammar Exercises for B1- Modals in the past

1. Circle the correct modals to complete the sentences.

1   She can’thavemighthavemusthave left her phone at school. Or perhaps she left it on the bus.

2   There’s no pizza left. They can’thavecouldhavemusthave eaten it all.

3   Juliet can’thavemayhavemusthavegone on holiday. She was at school yesterday!

4   I didn’t get your email. Do you think you can’thavecouldhavemusthave sent it to old email address?

Your smartwatch probably isn’t broken. It can’thavecouldhavemusthave run out of charge.

The school show is on YouTube. Our teacher can’thavemighthavemusthave uploaded it.

You went 130 km in less than an hour? You can’thavecouldhavemusthave driven very fast!

Max isn’t replying to texts. He can’thavemighthavemusthave taken his phone with him.

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1 might have   2 must have   3 can’t have   4 could have

5 could have   6 must have 7 must have   8 can’t have

2. Complete the sentences with must have or can’t have and the verb in brackets.

Jack is usually here by now. He ________ (miss) his bus.

Madison didn’t know about the party. She ________ (get) your email.

Sam ________ (take) his phone with him; he isn’t answering text messages.

There’s no bread. We ________ (eat) it all at breakfast.

They’ve left school already. Their lessons ________ (finish) early today.

He ________ (injure) his leg really badly. He cycled home!

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1 must have missed   2 can’t have got

3 can’t have taken   4 must have eaten

5 must have finished   6 can’t have injured

3. Write the correct reply (a-f) after sentences 1-6. Use should / shouldn’t have and the past participle form of the verb in brackets.

‘ camcorder screen is damaged.’


‘I think we’re driving in the wrong direction.’


‘I’ve spent a fortune on phone this month!’


‘ email account has been hacked again.’


‘Mason is really angry with me.’


‘ tablet is completely dead.’


We (bring) the satnav.

You (choose) a better password.

You (charge) it overnight.

You (drop) it on the pavement.

You (make) those comments on Twitter.

f   You (call) your friend when you were abroad.

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1 d You shouldn’t have dropped it on the pavement.

2 a We should have brought the satnav.

3 f You shouldn’t have called your friend when you were abroad.

4 b You should have chosen a better password.

5 e You shouldn’t have made those comments on Twitter.

6 c You should have charged it overnight.

4. Complete the dialogue with the modals below. You can use the same modal more than once.

can't have      may / might / could have

might not have      must have

Erica What’s the matter, Jack? You look worried.

Jack   I can’t find phone. I 1 _________ left it somewhere.

Erica Did you have it on the bus?

Jack   Yes, I did. But I 2 _________ left it there because I used it just after I got off. I sent you a text.

Erica You 3 _________ dropped it when you were walking here from the bus stop.

Jack   Yes, that’s possible. I was listening to MP3 player.

Erica Somebody 4 _________ found it by now and handed it in to the police.

Jack   Or they 5 _________ handed it in. They 6 _________ kept in.

Erica Shall I phone the police station and ask?

Jack   Yes, OK. But why don’t you call phone number first?

Erica OK, I will. I can hear your phone ringing.

Jack   Me too. I 7 _________ dropped it in the street.

Erica No. You 8 _________ put it down somewhere in the house.

Jack   That’s a relief! But where is it?

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1 must have   2 can’t have   3 may / might / could have

4 may / might / could have   5 might not have

6 may / might / could have   7 can’t have   8 must have

5. Write replies for the sentences. Use the words in brackets.

‘ back is really painful.’ (might have)


‘Ellie has got a really expensive new phone.’ (must have)


‘I failed science exam.’ (can’t have)


‘I’ve deleted all photos by mistake.’ (should have)


‘Anna left a rude message on Facebook page.’ (might not have)


‘I haven’t got enough money for bus ticket.’ (shouldn’t have)


‘It took Ben two hours to get home from school.’ (must have)


‘I was hungry all morning at school.’ (can’t have)


‘Molly seemed really disappointed with her exam result.’ (might have)


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your own answers

6. Complete the sentences with the past modal form of must / might (not) / can’t and the verbs in brackets.

1   She ______________ a fortune for that mobile – it’s the very latest model! (pay)

2   I ______________ keys at home; I remember locking the door this morning. (leave)

3   The doctor wants me to have an X-ray because I ______________ arm. (break)

4   It’s possible that your wallet is in the car; you ______________ it. (lose)

5   I ______________ that report properly. It isn’t in the right folder. (save)

6   The test was really hard, but I think I ________ I hope so, anyway. (pass)

7   He ______________ email yet because I only sent it last night. (read)

8   phone is completely dead. It ______________ itself off. (turn)

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1 must have paid   2 can’t have left   3 might have broken

4 might not have lost   5 can’t have saved   6 might have passed

7 might not have read   8 must have turned

7. Complete the dialogues with the past modal form of should (not) and the verbs below.

be      install      leave      put      take      write

1   A I’ve forgotten password.

b You ______________ it down somewhere.

2   A I’ve dropped phone in the shower.

b You ______________ it into the bathroom.

3   A I’ve spilled coffee on computer.

b You ______________ the cup next to the keyboard.

4   A I think there’s some malware on laptop.

b You ______________ better antivirus software.

5   A I’ve cracked the screen of laptop.

b You ______________ more careful.

6   A I think somebody’s taken e-reader.

b You ______________ it on the desk.

Show answers

1 should have written  2 shouldn’t have taken

3 shouldn’t have put/left 4 should have installed

5 should have been 6 shouldn’t have left/put