No sculptor could have created this many works of art in less than a year with just a hammer and chisel.

It is a general statement.


No sculptor can create this ...

have the same meaning?

1 Answer 1


No they don't have the same meaning.

'Could have' is used to talk about something that was possible in the past, but which did not happen. 'Can' is used to talk about something that is possible in the present, or the future, and which may or may not happen.

In the context of the OP's sentence, 'No sculptor could have created...' can be rewritten as:

No other sculptor in the past would have been able to create...

Also, 'No sculptor can created this...' is grammatically incorrect. It can be written as 'No sculptor can create this...'

  • Your "No other sculptor ..." makes sence well in the context. You giving "No other sculptor" based on the context or just based on the sentence? They are very different. I don't know how to deduce the "other".
    – Zhang
    Aug 3, 2018 at 7:05
  • We can't say "No sculptor could create this ...", right?
    – Zhang
    Aug 3, 2018 at 7:23
  • No merely mechanical object, no robot, no computer could have free will.
    – Zhang
    Aug 3, 2018 at 7:42
  • @ 马化腾 Yes, I meant my interpretation to be based on the context of the sentence, not on the actual words used in the sentence. I would not normally start a sentence with 'No sculptor could create this...', but I can imagine scenarios in which I might be able to do so. For example: A: Here is a picture of Penrose Stairs, could you sculpt it for me. B: No sculptor could create this object. In other words; no sculptor, now or in the future, can create a three dimensional rendering of the Penrose Stairs. Penrose Stairs
    – James
    Aug 3, 2018 at 8:37

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .