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“It couldn't / can't have happened if you had done it…”

It couldn't have happened It can't have happened Both sentences are correct, idiomatic and mean the same thing. What if I make the conditional with them? It couldn't (or) can't have happened if you ...
Adam's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Need or needs with bare infinitive

He need worry about the weather today. He needs worry about the weather today. Mostly we see the use of 'need' as modal verb in negative or interrogative sentences where it takes bare infinitive ...
Abid's user avatar
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1 answer
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Could and could have

What's the difference when I refer to the past? He couldn't hear us He couldn't have heard us Second question One guy told me a story and he said "and a mum wouln't let him grab sweets" is ...
train bee 282's user avatar
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1 answer
44 views

What a shame they couldn’t/can't come

What a shame they couldn’t come. What a shame they can’t come. Is there any difference between them? The only difference is couldn't(past) vs. can't(present). In other words, 'couldn't' means past ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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1 answer
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Mary couldn't (possibly) go to jail for the crime. - "possibly" necessary here to express future impossibility?

I came across this page that teaches "could." https://www.englishpage.com/modals/could.html The below example is from the page. I wonder whether "possibly" is a necessary element ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
80 views

could not \ specific past events

Correct the sentence I could not use my car yesterday because it was being repaired. I understand that the sentence is grammatical as it is or with was not able to Many grammar books suggest that ...
Ahmad Mohammad's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
93 views

My father provided me with money so that I could/was able to go to those swimming lessons - differences in meaning

Example 1 My father provided me with money so that I could go to those swimming lessons. Example 2 My father provided me with money so that I was able to go to those swimming lessons. Example 3 ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
173 views

Is it correct to use 'could' to describe present ability?

The following conversation is taken from the movie, The Menu (2022)[spoiler alert]: Peter: I mean, really, you should have your own place. Right? Lilian (a food critic): And I could help you with ...
J.a.deb's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
55 views

Could or could have

Can we use "could" and "could have" interchangeably in active voice?.. just like we can use "could be" and "could have been" interchangeably in passive voice... ...
Atif Mughal's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Difference between "can" and "could" in context

Can you please tell me if native speakers of English would sense any difference in meaning beween can and could in the context below? Unfortunately we don't have anyone available who can come and fix ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
48 views

She gave me half of her money so that I could/was able to have my dance lessons - What is the difference in meaning?

Example 1 She gave me half of her money so that I could have my dance lessons. Example 2 She gave me half of her money so that I was able to have my dance lessons. What is the difference between &...
vincentlin's user avatar
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Should I use "can" or "could" in the phrase "If you don't challenge yourself you'll never realise what you can/could become"?

Should I use "can" or "could" in the phrase "If you don't challenge yourself you'll never realise what you can/could become"? Is this an example of a conditional? And if ...
Jo R's user avatar
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1 answer
315 views

Does "couldn't" express future impossibility?

Questions: Can "couldn't be used to say something is impossible in the present or future? Are examples 1 and 3 correct? And do Examples 1 and 3 sound softer or less direct than examples 2 and 4? ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
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what is this meaning of "could"?

A: Your French is horrible. B: Oh really? Then, seems like I've been deceiving myself into thinking that I could speak it when I actually couldn't. This "could" is the result of the ...
user21669's user avatar
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1 answer
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"Can" can be used in the past?

About the title, I didn't mean something like: Did you can... (because, of course we can use in the past since there's "did"). What I've known, could can also be the past simple form of can. ...
user516076's user avatar
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Why Could is used in both past and the future tense

Why Could is used in both past and the future tense? Example: I could run fast when I was younger. Extreme rain could cause the river to flood the city. Can 'Could' be considered as a homonym. Same ...
user3338656's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Can I use 'can' for making suggestions?

All of the grammar books I've read say I have to use 'could' for making suggestions, but none of them say so about 'can'. My question is: Is it valid to use 'can' for making suggestions? For example: ...
Gabriel Coronel's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

You can stay here if you like

You can roast chicken whole or in pieces if you want to/if you like. You could roast chicken whole or in pieces if you want to/if you like. You can stay here if you like. Q1) Does sentence (1) ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
395 views

Is "I would be happy if I can return the favor” grammatically correct?

You have been a tremendous help to me and I would be very happy if I can return the favor in the future. Let's consider that someone has helped me in the past and I am talking to this person and now ...
acman123's user avatar
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Can have p.p. VS could have p.p.?

What is difference between these two sentences? Are these both grammatically right? Where could jack have put the matches? Where can jack have put the matches?
mike's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Will _ would and Can_Could differences

I read the below article in "The Hindu" newspaper: The state government has imposed restrictions on gatherings with immediate effect. Only 50 persons would be allowed at gatherings. The ...
Ramteja Guthikonda's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Is using "could" in an "if" clause, like "If you could..." grammatical?

Today, I was watching this YouTube video, I found that at 1:18, she used the 'could' in the if-clause. I just want to know, is it right grammatically, or is it a new grammar rule that I don't know? ...
Aarsh's user avatar
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1 answer
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if I had enough money, I could buy a 20-room mansion

In the morning, person A says: if my leg were not injured, I would attend the party tonight. if I knew his home address, I could go to his house to meet him tonight. if I had enough money, I could ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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0 answers
31 views

Do words such as "could have", "should have", or "might have" represent the past possibilities of the past?

We know that words such as could have, should have, or might have mean past possibilities. When they are used in a noun clause following a verb, do they represent the past possibilities of the past? ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
27 views

"could" is used for past ability or ability now(or future)?

Social media services also enabled people to publicize their views on new songs, list their new favorite bands in their social media bios, and argue over new music endlessly on message boards. The ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

<could usage> She could be very unkind

She could be very unkind. In the above sentence, what is this "could" usage? I mean, this could has a similar meaning to "would"(would do something used for talking about things ...
Tae-Bbong-E's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
24 views

Which should we use?'Can' or 'could'?

Is it possible to use 'can' instead of 'could' in this sentence? It encouraged me to bring my old coats for the homeless so that they could stay warm.
Bob's user avatar
  • 53
0 votes
2 answers
438 views

"How couldn't I do" vs. "how couldn't I have done" in the sense of criticiizing oneself for failure to do something in the past

Could you tell me if I have to use how couldn't I or how couldn't have I in the sense of criticizing oneself for failure to do something in the past? For example: The problem turns out to be so easy. ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
905 views

Is there a difference between "can't" or "couldn't"?

He spoke so quickly that I can't understand him at all. He spoke so quickly that I couldn't understand him at all. What is more correct?
Throwaway account's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Can't have + V3 or Couldn't have + V3

Is there any difference between the following sentences? If Jones was at work until six, he can't have done the murder. If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder.
Mrt's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
86 views

Modal verbs: difference betweeen ¨Would¨ and ¨Could¨

I have a question: when I could use the modal verb ¨Could¨ and when ¨Would¨ because for me is similar. I know ¨Would¨ we can use it in very polite situations like ¨would you like a cup of coffee¨. But ...
Leonardo Badell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
960 views

could vs might (for expressing the future possibility)

Could vs might(for the future possibility) I could go there. I might go there. I know that these two sentences talk about less possibility to go there. but, I can’t know their slight difference. When ...
Kim  Sunwoo's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
327 views

could vs might (for the future possibility)

Could vs might(for the future possibility) I could go there. I might go there. I know that these two sentences talk about less possibility to go there. but, I can’t know their slight difference. ...
Kim  Sunwoo's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Why some people use could instead of can [duplicate]

Why some people use could instead of can (in the simple present tense) For example, Could you open the door?
Brian's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Is it correct and natural to use the question "how could you have done it?" when expressing disbelief or surprise?

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 ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Usage of Could have

It’s ten o’clock. They could have arrived now. Does this “could have” indicates they “could have” but they didn’t? If my conclusion is correct, Are there anyother possible interpretations or not?
ramteja guthikonda's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
31 views

Usage of modal verb Could

How could we spend this time on the island? Does this mean 1)It is impossible or difficult for us to spend time in the island? Or 2) What are the possible means to stay in the forest? If the ...
ramteja guthikonda's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

Can/Could have done = Can/Could it be so that

I recently saw such a phrase: I can have done it Can it be a contraction of It can be so that I have done it ? The same with I could have done it = It could be so that I had done it Or these ...
Michael Azarenko's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
587 views

"How could you have done it?" vs "How did you manage to do it"

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the question how could you have done it and how did you manage to do it? For example: The match seemed impossible to pull off, but ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

What is the difference between "how could you do" and "how could have you done" when used to express critisism or annoyance?

What is the difference between how could you do and how could have you done when used to express critisism or annoyance? For example: You took Dad's car without asking. How could you do that! ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
97 views

I couldn't / wasn't able to drink coffee (come home late) when I was 10 years old

Please, help me to understand the usage of these modals better. As I think, the most appropriate answer is I wasn't able to drink coffee (come home late) when I was 10 years old. because these ...
NadinSh's user avatar
  • 189
3 votes
2 answers
296 views

"Could not but" in interrogative sentence

Is the following sentence grammatically correct to write in literature? How could I not but close my eyes? As "I could not but close my eyes" is a valid sentence, I felt like this one should also ...
cars's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
2k views

use of could / would - correct the sentence - I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment

I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment. Options: - was able to fit might would My answer: I like that piece of furniture. I wish it would fit in my ...
Manny's user avatar
  • 155
0 votes
1 answer
177 views

Is "could not have been done" more appropriate here? [closed]

An extract from today's newspaper: Despite our best efforts and the hard work of various organizations, the boy could not be retrieved so far. Should I use: ...the boy could not have been ...
user100323's user avatar
  • 1,068
1 vote
3 answers
76 views

"could" vs "could not" in this sentence?

"His dance was unbelievable! I don't know if even (I could do it/could have done it)" Just something that I want to say about a friend's dance performance last night.I think it should be "could ...
Prof-Wiz's user avatar
  • 161
0 votes
1 answer
489 views

How could have vs How could [duplicate]

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 ?
thedev09's user avatar