I think this new law is great and should already have exist earlier.

This sentence doesn’t seem correct to me. I don't know what, but something is disturbing me. Is it the tense of some verb? Or a false construction?


1 Answer 1


You're right, there is a tense problem. "Should already have exist" should be "should already have existed." This is the past progressive (or past continuous) tense combined with a modal verb "should." The auxiliary "have" cannot be combined with the present tense form of a verb: it always takes a past participle.

A more idiomatic way to say the same thing is:

I think this new law is great and should have been passed earlier!

But the original version is grammatical when "exist" is corrected to "existed."

  • 1
    No, that's not progressive; it's perfect. Progressive uses be as an auxilary and follows it with an -ing verb form. Perfect uses have as an auxiliary and follows it with a past participle form. Commented Aug 25, 2019 at 19:54

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