Use these questions & activities to practise using modal verbs / past modals (must have, should have, can’t have etc…) to talk about the past.
Ask and answer the questions in pairs or groups.
In each of these scenarios, use past modals to give your advice about what the person could have done differently or what could have happened. The first one has an example answer.
I dropped my shopping because i didn’t take a bag to the supermarket and I bought more than I could carry.
Example Suggestions: You should have taken a bag, or you could have bought less so that you could carry it. You could have bought a bag from the supermarket. You must have been crazy to try to carry it all without a bag.
I feel hungry, wet and tired! I went to bed late last night because I was reading social media. I woke up late because I didn’t set an alarm and I didn’t have time for breakfast! I missed the train. So I walked all the way here. It was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella or boots, so now I’m completely wet!
I hurt my leg yesterday when I was playing football. I wasn’t wearing shin pads (protective leg coverings) I didn’t go to the hospital. This morning when I woke up my leg was all swollen and painful, now I can’t walk properly!
Yesterday I did a test, I didn’t study at all, so when I got into the exam I realised that I didn’t know any of the answers. I panicked and tried to copy the answers from the person who was sitting in front of me. One of the teachers saw me and sent me out of the exam room. Now I may be expelled from the course!
Last week I bought a new watch from the town centre. I remember looking at it when I was waiting for the bus. When the bus came I put it in my pocket. The bus was very full. When I got home I put my hand in my pocket but my watch wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened to it. I paid cash. I’m really sad about the situation.