'could not + have + past participle'
Was wondering if anyone has any extra advice or comments on this structure:
could not + have + past participle
my grammar books say basically that it is used to express something that could not have been possible in the past.
I understand this, but when this is used in a sentence it also gives me the feeling of 'disbelief' or 'impossibilty'...
He couldn't have been a porpoise!
He couldn't have eaten all the cheese!
How would you describe this structure and use of it?
Anything different to what the grammar books say?
Re: 'could not + have + past participle'
I would say that something that could not have been possible in the past is something with disbelief of impossibility, you are in the correct thinking of what function the past perfect has
hope this helps.
By shun in forum General Language Discussions
Last Post: 13-Feb-2008, 18:54
By Fazzu in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 16-Jun-2006, 05:13
By JunieNg in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 09-Nov-2005, 02:14
By dusrn11 in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 28-Jun-2005, 09:44
By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
Last Post: 20-Jan-2005, 00:04
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO