Is it correcr natural to use the question how could you have done it? when expressing disbelief or surprise? For example:

So you are saying you made it. How could you have done it? You can't even boil an egg.

If doesn't sound natural, what would you say in that situation?

1 Answer 1


While it is true that How could you...! expresses disbelief or surprise, it is often used in a critical way and can be accompanied by emotions of anger. For example, imagine that you told your friend something very private but then he told other people without your permission. You might say to him: "How could you have done that!". You are shocked and in disbelief that he would do something so bad, and you are angry at him.

In your example, you need a phrase that expresses surprise but doesn't include the negative emotions of How could you. Something like How did you manage that! or even How did you do that! (used ironically) would work better, in my opinion.

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