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  1. #1
    string Guest

    Default native speaker needed

    hi! I need an english native speaker to answer this question
    Is there any difference between these 2 sentences:
    I could have not eaten that
    I could not have eaten that
    I have always been told that the right word order is "could not have past participle", but I think there is some difference in meaning between the 2 sentences.
    I checked out all my grammar books and "could not have eaten" always appears as the right choice.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: native speaker needed

    Quote Originally Posted by string View Post
    hi! I need an english native speaker to answer this question
    Is there any difference between these 2 sentences:
    I could have not eaten that
    This implies that you had a choice whether or not to eat something, and you chose to eat it.
    "My stomach hurts."
    "It's your own fault. You shouldn't have eaten so much food."
    "Well, I could have not eaten that large dinner my mother-in-law set before me, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take an Alka-Seltzer."

    I could not have eaten that
    This implies that you are unable to eat something.
    "Why didn't you come to the company picnic?"
    "I could not have eaten anything there; I'm an Orthodox Jew and I had no way of telling which foods were Kosher."

    "That dessert looked delicious, but I could not have eaten it, since it had almonds in it and I am allergic to nuts."

  3. #3
    string is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: native speaker needed

    Thank you very much! I understand it much better now. Could you (or anyone) provide me with examples for would, should, will, and the rest of modal verbs in the same way as those above?
    Thanks

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