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Studying the use of the modal verb "can" I was confronted with a problem whether I have to use could+simple infinitive or could+perfect infinitive in this case: 1) "Nobody could make greater impression on me that you did." 2) "Nobody could have made greater impression on me that you did." Can I use both variants or there's a difference in meaning?

  • The difference between They could make an impression and They could have made an impression is simply that in the former (present tense) case it's still possible. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Feb 15 '17 at 18:13
  • Both are incorrect because the idiom is make an impression and the articles are omitted. That's a glaring error that makes all the other errors almost invisible. – John Lawler Feb 15 '17 at 21:44
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Nobody could make a greater impression on me than you did.

This could be expanded: Nobody could make a greater impression on me either now or in the future than you did at that time.

Nobody could have made a greater impression on me than you did.

This could be expanded: Nobody could have made a greater impression on me at that time than you did at that time.

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