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Advisability in the Past what is it? and how can we use it?

Advisability in the Past Expresses the feeling of regret or blame (things in the past you should have done and you did not do). Examples: I shouldn’t have told that joke in the office. My career is ruined. I could have studied more for the test. Now I failed the exam. I ought to have cleaned the house instead of going out.

Modals that expresses advisability: Should have, Ought to have, Could have, Might have.

Structure: For statements. Subject + Modal* + have + past participle Examples: He should (not) have gone there. She could have studied for the test. I ought (not) to have told them. We might have called them. *Modals have only one form, so they are always used in simple form (Should, Could, Might, Ought to). Only should not have and ought not to have are used in negative statements about advisability in the past. Contractions: Should have: should’ve or shouldn’t have Could have: could’ve Might have: might’ve

Structure: For yes/no questions. Modal + subject + have + past participle Examples: Should he have gone to the party? Could she have studied more? Ought to you have told her that? Might we have called them?

Structure: For short answers. Affirmative:


Yes, he should have.

No, he shouldn’t have.

Structure: For wh-questions. Wh-word (when, who, where, what‌) + modal + subject + have + past participle Examples: When should he have told her? What could she have done? When might we have called them?

References Bonner, M. y Fuchs, M. (2006). Focus on Grammar 4. New York: Pearson Education.

Advisability in the Past