Grammar Of Regret

When speaking about the past, people often speak about what they should have done but did not do. Note the construction:

I should have called before I came over.

He should not have expected us to wait.

This is the past use of the modal verb "should".

Other modal verbs for the past, "could", "would", "might", and "must", are used to describe possibilities in the past.

I could have called but I did not.

Tim would have arrived faster on the express train.

You must have known it would make her angry, didn't you?

I might have guessed it was you.

For a good general review of modal verbs see

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