Modals: should have, might have

We should have booked the tickets in advance

Learn should have and might have

Remember should and might? Quick summary:

Should is a modal verb used to express obligation, recommendation, or advice. It is often used to give advice or make suggestions.

You should study for the exam. -Deberías estudiar para el examen.
He should eat more vegetables. -Él debería comer más verduras.

Might is a modal verb as well used to express a low level of certainty or possibility.

She might be late for the meeting due to traffic. Puede que llegue tarde a la reunión debido al tráfico.
I might visit my grandparents this weekend. Es posible que visite a mis abuelos este fin de semana.

In this lesson we’ll see should have and might have. They are the past forms of the modal verbs should and might.

Use of should have and might have

“should have” and “might have” are used to express past events that didn’t happen or were uncertain. These modal verbs are helpful in expressing expectations, obligations, possibilities, and uncertainties related to the past.

When you use them, take into account that should have suggests a stronger obligation or expectation, while “might have” suggests a lower level of certainty or possibility.

Should have

We use should have to express a past obligation, expectation, or recommendation that was not fulfilled in the past.
It follows this structure: Subject + “should have” + past participle of the verb.

Read this if you need to know what’s the past participle.

He should have called his friend on his birthday. Debería haber llamado a su amigo en su cumpleaños.
She should have studied more for the exam. Debería haber estudiado más para el examen.
They should have left earlier to avoid traffic. Deberían haber salido más temprano para evitar el tráfico.
We should have booked the tickets in advance. Deberíamos haber reservado las entradas con antelación.
He should have saved money for emergencies. Debería haber ahorrado dinero para emergencias.

Might have

We use might to express a possibility or uncertainty about a past event or situation.
It follows this structure: Subject + “might have” + past participle of the verb.

She might have forgotten her keys at home. Tal vez haya olvidado sus llaves en casa.

He might have left his phone at the office. Puede que haya dejado su teléfono en la oficina.
She might have finished her homework by now. – Tal vez haya terminado sus deberes para ahora.
We might have missed the last bus. Puede que hayamos perdido el último autobús.
He might have taken a different route to avoid traffic. Tal vez haya tomado una ruta diferente para evitar el tráfico.
She might have fallen asleep during the movie. Puede que se haya quedado dormida durante la película.

Now you’ve learnt how to use might have and should have! Can you get 10/10 in the quiz? 👉