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How could we have spent this time on the island?

How could we spend this time on the island?

What is the difference between those two sentences ?

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1 Answer 1

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Pretty straight forward: first one is in the past, while the second one is in the present.

In other words, the first phrase sounds almost like a regret: they've already spent the time on the island, and are debating how they could have done it differently.

The second phrase is a common question you ask (yourself) when you first arrive at a destination.

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  • A group of people have missed the flight toward the island and after some days they said : How could we have spent this time on the island? Is this sentence correct in this context?
    – thedev09
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 15:31
  • Yes, because this also refers to a situation in the past. Impossible one, but still. Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 15:34
  • What do you mean by "Impossible one, but still"?
    – thedev09
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 15:46
  • The situation you mentioned. It's impossible to happen because they missed the flight, so they're wondering how they could have spent the time there. Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 15:46
  • If we ask someone to guess how we spent the time ,could we say :"How could we have spent this time on the island? "
    – thedev09
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 15:52

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