I've always thought like that 'have' between a modal and a past participle is nothing but a grammatical method of indicating the past tense of modal. But recently I saw a video saying that in the example sentence below, 'have submitted' was used not only to show the past of modal verb, but also to imply some vibes somewhat similar to the several usages of 'present perfect form' give off. I mean, such as that the act of submitting has been 'finished' or anything... Is it true?

What happened? I thought you would've submitted it by now.

  • My initial reaction is that can't be right because there is no simple past version of that sentence for the perfect version to contrast with. – user96060 Jun 15 at 8:22
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    PP is the standard abbreviation for 'preposition phrase'. Do you mean 'past participle'? – BillJ Jun 15 at 8:54
  • @BillJ 'Would + have + Past Participle' for "would've submitted" in the example – dolco Jun 15 at 9:45
  • @JasonBassford I meant past participle for "submitted". I thought "would've submitted" was just a past form of "would submit", but the video said that this has some kind of subtle meaning of the action already finished as you normally use it when that's just a present perfect, such as "you have submitted it by now". – dolco Jun 15 at 9:49
  • I'd say that the present version would be something like you should submit it now. (I can't find the use of would idiomatic in the present tense in this specific construction.) I'd also say if the plan is working, he should be there now.) Then again, modals are seldom strictly about the present. (If at all, depending on how you interpret them.) – Jason Bassford Jun 15 at 15:54

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