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Hello there,

I have a question about modals.
1 Can the continuous modal express an action that will be in progress at a future time as well?
Eg: You should be doing the cleaning when I come back.

2 Can I use a perfect modal to imply that an action may / might / should be completed before another action in the future?
Eg: He may have arrived by 5 o'clock tomorrow. (I mean: Perhaps he will have arrived by 5 o'clock tomorrow.)

3 What about the perfect continuous modal form? Can it be used in the same way?
Eg: He may have been waiting for us for an hour by the time our train finally arrives. (I mean: Perhaps he will have been waiting for an hour when our train finally arrives.)

Is it okay to say sentences like these? Or is the perfect modal used to refer to past tense only?
Can I get feedback from native speakers on this issue, please?

Thanks, a lot.
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Comments  
My try:

I have a question about modals.
1 Can the continuous modal express an action that will be in progress at a future time as well?
Eg: You should be doing the cleaning when I come back. I agree with you.

2 Can I use a perfect modal to imply that an action may / might / should be completed before another action in the future?
Eg: He may have arrived by 5 o'clock tomorrow. (I mean: Perhaps he will have arrived by 5 o'clock tomorrow.) No. You can't use "may have arrived" in such a context.

3 What about the perfect continuous modal form? Can it be used in the same way?
Eg: He may have been waiting for us for an hour by the time our train finally arrives. (I mean: Perhaps he will have been waiting for an hour when our train finally arrives.) No this is wrong too.
I think they're all three fine.
Couldn't get any similar examples at Google though.
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Emotion: tongue tiedEmotion: tongue tied Dear Marius,

It is obvious that I don't know that kind of usages. Could you try to explain to me?
Hi Henryh,
I think you can use them that way. I find nothing strange with sentences like "By the time we find her, she might have tried to kill him several times already. It could alredy be too late actually. We better get a move on." - If that usage is strange, I have to say I don't know any other way to say the same thing then, lol. Emotion: smile
OK, we consulted with friends and they proposed the following:

He may have arrived here by 5 o'clock tomorrow.

He may have been waiting for us an hour by the time our train
finally arrives
.

He may have been waiting an hour by the time our train
finally arrives
.

Thus no one seems really surprised by such constructions.
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Okay, from now on I will not be surprised. Thank you for your answer. Emotion: big smile
Ehem, I want to ask one more queston before I leave here Emotion: stick out tongue I still feel confused. Emotion: sad

He may have been waiting for us for an hour by the time our train finally arrives.

He will have been waiting for us for an hour by the time our train finally arrives.

What is the difference between two sentences above ?
DollWhat is the difference between two sentences above ?
Hi Doll,
the same that there is between:
- I will buy a new laptop.
- I may buy a new laptop.

I'm sure you know the difference. Emotion: smile
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