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She kept milk in the fridge so that it couldn't go bad.

Is that sentence possible? Of course

She kept milk in the fridge so that it wouldn't go bad.

is better.

But my students said, "She kept milk in the fridge so that it couldn't go bad."

Is this sentence correct?

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    Correct in what way? Grammatically? Semantically? Idiomatically? Of course, there's nothing wrong with the grammatical structure (compare: He locked the horses in the barn so they couldn't get out.) – J.R. Nov 5 '16 at 9:34
  • Thank you. I understand it has nothing wrong with the grammatical structure. How about semantically? – 안상은 Nov 5 '16 at 9:46
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The natural choice here is wouldn't.

If you keep milk in the fridge, it will stay fresh and won't go bad quickly, as it would if left on the countertop. I put the milk in the fridge as soon as I got home, so it wouldn't go sour.

When might you use could not, which means "unable to"?

To express disbelief or surprise:

This milk is sour.
-- It couldn't be. I just bought it this morning at the supermarket, and its sell-by date is three weeks from now, and I put it in the fridge as soon as I got home.

A paraphrase would be:

This milk is sour.
-- That's impossible. I just bought it...

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