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  1. #1
    Waawe is offline Member
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    Default Can't/couldn't for certainty

    Hello,

    can we equally use can't/couldn't to say something is not possible?

    Such as in:

    It is too early, it can't/couldn't be the postman yet.

    or

    It was too early, it can't/couldn't have been the postman yet.

    Thank you for diffusing my doubt about it and your time.

    Waawe

  2. #2
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Can't/couldn't for certainty

    Quote Originally Posted by Waawe View Post
    Hello,

    can we equally use can't/couldn't to say something is not possible?

    Such as in:

    It is too early, it can't/couldn't be the postman yet.

    or

    It was too early, it can't/couldn't have been the postman yet.

    Thank you for diffusing my doubt about it and your time.

    Waawe

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) It may/might not rain tomorrow. = Perhaps it will not rain.

    (2) It can't/couldn't possibly rain tomorrow. = It certainly will

    not rain.


    Source: Mr. Michael Swan, Practical English Usage (1995 edition,

    item #123.3 -- not page number).


    Respectfully yours,


    James

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