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Please let me know use of could in past and future tense
Last edited by bhaisahab; 27-Jul-2009 at 17:10. Reason: correction
It may not rain. I might go out, I don't know. I could get wet!
This could be the house.
May have, might have and could have express possibility or uncertainty about past actions.
Jean might have missed the train. (Perhaps she did)
He may not have received the letter. (Perhaps he didn't)
You could have been killed. (It was a possibility)
David could have won the race if he had tried. (possibility/ability)
It could have been Sue, I suppose. (uncertainty)
Couldn't have can be used with comparative adjectives.
We couldn't have been happier in those days.
It can also express unwillingness.
We couldn't have left the dog on its own. (so we didn't)
The weather has been lovely lately. It couldn't possibly rain for our picnic tomorrow!
The nuance is a bit different from a simple opposite of "It could rain tomorrow" because the speaker, as well as saying "Since the weather has been so nice lately, the possibility of it raining tomorrow is small" is also saying "I don't want it to rain tomorrow!"