Grammar: Probability/Possibility in the past


What do you think happened?

May / might / could have - modal + have + past What might have happened is ... participle may have been, could have gone, might have lost,

We use may / could / might have to say that it was possible something happened in the past.

There may have been a storm. Captain Briggs might have ordered everyone off the ship. Pirates may have attacked the Mary Celeste

1.Why do you think the crew left the ship? 2.What do you think happened to the lifeboat? 3.Most of the cargo of alcohol remained on the ship. What does this tell us? 4.Why do you think that nine barrels of alcohol were missing? 5. Did they get lost in the Bermuda Triangle? 6. Why do you think the chronometer was missing? Choose the correct or expression for each sentence. a.There might/might not have been a bad storm b.Captain Briggs could/could not have been worried about the alcohol causing an explosion. c.Someone may have/couldn’t opened the barrels. d.Pirates may have/must have taken the crew away Did these thing happen? Rewrite each sentence beginning: It is .... certain * highly likely * possible * unlikely * very unlikely 1. There was a mutiny on the Mary Celeste It is very unlikely that there was a mutiny on the Mary celeste 2. Pirates stole the chronometer. 3. The crew drank the missing alcohol. 4. The crew left the ship in lifeboat. 5. Captain Briggs ordered the crew off the ship. 6. The Mary Celeste did not reach its destination

The negatives are may not Captain Briggs might not have have & might not have. Must / can't / couldn't have Express possibility/ probability in the past
wanted to risk an explosion. He might not have wanted to risk staying on the ship.

modal + have + past participle Captain Briggs must have been worried about The Mary Celeste can’t have ... It couldn’t have been pirates because ....

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.