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  1. #1
    thomas1991 is offline Newbie
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    Default What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    Hello,

    I came across a grammatical form that I'm not familiar with. Although I understand the meaning of this text, I don't know when I can use it appropriately.
    Quote:
    "There’s so many cool things we could be doing tonight"

    Why they are using this form of grammar in this text and not the following one:
    "There's so many cool things we could do tonight"

    According to my feeling that would mean exactly the same, but perhaps someone can explain me that a bit more detailed.
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    Consider this distinction:

    "There's so many cool things we could do tonight (when we've finished work, had dinner and are ready to hit the town)."

    "There’s so many cool things we could be doing tonight (and here we are just loafing about doing nothing but sitting here tweeting)."

  3. #3
    thomas1991 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    Thank you for your quick and extensive answer, but one question still remains.

    Can I also use this grammar constellation, with the same meaning, with different verbs or just with "do"? (could be doing)

    - I could be going to the cinema.
    - I could go to the cinema.

    Are there any differences between this two sentences and is the first one a valid sentence at all?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas1991 View Post
    Thank you for your quick and extensive answer, but one question still remains.

    Can I also use this grammar constellation, with the same meaning, with different verbs or just with "do"? (could be doing)

    - I could be going to the cinema.
    - I could go to the cinema.

    Are there any differences between this two sentences and is the first one a valid sentence at all?

    Thanks!
    I think Rover's explanation applies to this as well.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    I'd change 'grammar constellation' to 'grammatical construction'.

  6. #6
    thomas1991 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What is the area of application of "could be doing"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I'd change 'grammar constellation' to 'grammatical construction'.
    Yes, you're right. I don't know how I came to constellation. This would suit more in astrophysics (star constellation) :D

    Well, thank you for your replies. I think I get it now.

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