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  1. #1
    Batman45 is offline Senior Member
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    Default could and can nuances

    I'm at the eye doctor's office and he says to me:

    "It could/can take up to 2-3 weeks before you eyes completely heals after LASIK eye surgery."

    I think many times because of how close the words sound, they come across the same to me, so I'm just double checking to see which one did he actually use.

    Thank you

  2. #2
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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    They don't sound at all close to me. The have a different vowel and a different final consonant.

    I've no idea which he used. Both are possible.

  3. #3
    Batman45 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    They don't sound at all close to me. The have a different vowel and a different final consonant.

    I've no idea which he used. Both are possible.
    What would a Native English speaker say?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    That both are possible.

    You may not have noticed, but I am a native speaker.

  5. #5
    Batman45 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That both are possible.

    You may not have noticed, but I am a native speaker.
    Yes, during the Sochi Olympics I met many Americans, and a lot of the times when they spoke too quickly, I wasn't able to catch a lot of the words they used and also many of them have different accents too.

    One of the biggest problems I encountered was the could and can usage.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    I can understand a can/can't problem with some speakers of AmE, but not a can/could one The words happen to begin with the same phoneme; that's all they have in common.

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    Default Re: could and can nuances

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I can understand a can/can't problem with some speakers of AmE, but not a can/could one The words happen to begin with the same phoneme; that's all they have in common.
    5jj, I don't believe you understood me correctly, as I'm saying it was my listening and understanding of the language that was the problem, and how they spoke wasn't the main issue.

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