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  1. #21
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I think the only nuance is letting people know that one speaks bad English, specifically using useless words in unconventional combinations.
    That's all I will have to say about this.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 53,500,000 English pages for "have to".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 5,200,000 English pages for "will have to".

    It seems, 2006, following your line of reasoning, that your 'will', above, bolded, in red, is unnecessary/useless and you seem to have created an "unconventional combination".

    That doesn't, to my mind, make what you wrote bad English. I think that it is merely a nuanced version of the more common one.

  2. #22
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I would use "could" in the previous 3 sentences. (could, verbal auxillary, past of can)
    Again, what you think you might use isn't really all that important to whether or not other collocations exist, 2006.



    2006 wrote:
    "(could, verbal auxillary, past of can)"



    Jim: I can jump five feet.

    [Jim jumps and it's five feet]

    Jim: *I could jump five feet.*

    [* denotes ungrammatical for the situation]

    Donna: I can bake an apple pie for you.

    [Donna bakes an apple pie]

    Donna: *I could bake an apple pie for you.*

    [* denotes ungrammatical for the situation]

    What we find when we follow the "rule" is that 'could' is clearly NOT the past tense of 'can'.

  3. #23
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Again, what you think you might use isn't really all that important to whether or not other collocations exist, 2006.



    2006 wrote:
    "(could, verbal auxillary, past of can)"



    Jim: I can jump five feet.

    [Jim jumps and it's five feet]

    Jim: *I could jump five feet.*

    [* denotes ungrammatical for the situation]

    Donna: I can bake an apple pie for you.

    [Donna bakes an apple pie]

    Donna: *I could bake an apple pie for you.*

    [* denotes ungrammatical for the situation]

    What we find when we follow the "rule" is that 'could' is clearly NOT the past tense of 'can'.
    I keep trying to stop wasting time arguing with riverkid, but he keeps saying such stupid things that one shouldn't just let them go unchallenged.

    No one said that "could" is always the past tense of "can", but sometimes it very obviously is the past tense of can.

    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 6 feet.

    So it should be obvious to everyone that in the above sentence "could" is the past tense of "can". Common usage and dictionaries both tell us that one function of "could" is to serve the past tense of can, yet riverhead insists this isn't so.


    note to the powers that be...
    Why is riverkid still allowed on this site despite all the problems he has caused and the warnings he has been given? How many more people will he be allowed to drive away from here?

  4. #24
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    I have complained repeatedly about the negative tone of usingenglish.com and I have decided to withdraw.
    I was told to put those I objected to on an "ignore" list. When I tried this I found that the system wouldn't allow me to "ignore" the two iworst offenders because they are moderators.

    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I keep trying to stop wasting time arguing with riverkid, but he keeps saying such stupid things that one shouldn't just let them go unchallenged.

    No one said that "could" is always the past tense of "can", but sometimes it very obviously is the past tense of can.

    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 6 feet.

    So it should be obvious to everyone that in the above sentence "could" is the past tense of "can". Common usage and dictionaries both tell us that one function of "could" is to serve the past tense of can, yet riverhead insists this isn't so.


    note to the powers that be...
    Why is riverkid still allowed on this site despite all the problems he has caused and the warnings he has been given? How many more people will he be allowed to drive away from here?

  5. #25
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    I keep trying to stop wasting time arguing with riverkid, but he keeps saying such stupid things that one shouldn't just let them go unchallenged.

    I heartily agree, 2006. If you think something stated is stupid, by all means, challenge it.

    No one said that "could" is always the past tense of "can", but sometimes it very obviously is the past tense of can.

    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 6 feet.

    So it should be obvious to everyone that in the above sentence "could" is the past tense of "can". Common usage and dictionaries both tell us that one function of "could" is to serve the past tense of can, yet riverhead insists this isn't so.

    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 6 feet.

    This isn't 'could' as the past tense of 'can', 2006. It's 'could' operating in a past situation. The connection to 'can' isn't a syntactic one, it's a semantic one.

    "have an ability" and "had an ability" are not present and past tenses of each other. So of course it makes sense that 'can', as the historical present form and 'could' as the historical past form should each take care of these respective jobs.

    But why is it that all these purported past tense modals operate so much, actually the greater preponderance is in the present or future?

    'can' can also operate in the past.

    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 20 feet.
    Jim: You can't have done that!


    Results 1 - 10 of about 502,000 English pages for "can't have gone"

    Results 1 - 10 of about 873,000 English pages for "can't have done".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 675,000 English pages for "can't have eaten".

    {Interestingly, the first hit at the "eaten" google search is a link to a previous discussion on this very issue, at this very site.}

    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...help-guys.html


    As I mentioned, can & could are the hardest to grasp. Try may/might. Make a sentence where might is the past tense of may.
    Last edited by riverkid; 01-Jan-2008 at 18:27.

  6. #26
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by baqarah131 View Post
    I have complained repeatedly about the negative tone of usingenglish.com and I have decided to withdraw.
    I was told to put those I objected to on an "ignore" list. When I tried this I found that the system wouldn't allow me to "ignore" the two iworst offenders because they are moderators.

    edward
    Edward,

    Please stick around. Things might get testy a time or two but these things will all straighten around and nobody will be the worse for wear.

  7. #27
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Jim: I can jump five feet.
    Tom: When I was your age, I could jump 6 feet.

    This isn't 'could' as the past tense of 'can', 2006. It's 'could' operating in a past situation.


    "have an ability" and "had an ability" are not present and past tenses of each other.


    Make a sentence where might is the past tense of may. It can be very easily done, but doing so would just give you an opening to spout more of your nonsense.
    2006

  8. #28
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    2006,

    You're being childish. You laugh but you don't address the actual examples of natural English where 'can' is used in a past situation. Laughing doesn't get anyone anywhere.

    You can't [as in, it's IMPOSSIBLE, no shouting intended] make a sentence in modern English where 'might' is the past tense of 'may'.

    If yyou had one, you would have been falling all over yourself trying to post it. Nevertheless, please go ahead and give it a whirl; try to produce one. You've got nothing to lose and a great deal to gain.

  9. #29
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    [quote=riverkid;241619]2006,



    If yyou had one, you would have been falling all over yourself trying to post it. Wrong again. GET LOST!!

  10. #30
    louhevly is offline Member
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    Re: Why is it impossible to use CAN in these sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Originally Posted by louhevly View Post
    I don't think this is an example of "can" used with a past meaning because:

    Oh, he sure can have been = Oh, it certainly *is* possible that he has been.

    That's an interesting thought, Lou. It is "Lou", isn't it? What would a switch to 'could' do to the meaning you suggest.

    Oh, he sure could have been there = Oh, it certainly {___??___} possible that ...
    "It certainly is possible that..."

    For me there is no change in temporal meaning and the difference between "can" and "could" is that the latter expresses more doubt. "could" can also express what in fact wasn't the case: "He sure could have been there if you hadn't told him not to come".

    It's similar to the difference between "We can go tomorrow" and "We could go tomorrow". Both express future, with "could" expressing more doubt or tentativeness.

    Lou

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