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    #1

    could have

    Hi

    When I did something and someone else holds a grudge against me, is it OK to say: What else could have I done? I don't think "What else could I do?" would be correct here.

  1. kfredson's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    When I did something and someone else holds a grudge against me, is it OK to say: What else could have I done? I don't think "What else could I do?" would be correct here.
    You are correct. That is the better thing to say. However, in common speech you might hear someone use the second sentence. In a sense it is short for saying, "Given the situation I was in, what else could I do?" It may not be grammatically correct but I doubt that most people would notice it or think it sounds strange.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    Hi

    When I did something and someone else holds a grudge against me, is it OK to say: What else could have I done? I don't think "What else could I do?" would be correct here.
    Could have and could are used in different situations.
    You use 'could have' to talk about possible present situations that have not happened. When you use ‘else’ which means ‘besides’ it should mean: is there any other kind of response/action that would have been more effective than what you did?
    Let us assume: you are forced to reveal a fact which went against someone who became hostile and hold grudge against you. In such a situation you could ask some one for advice; as:
    What else could I have done?
    The answer could be; you could have avoided anwereing the question, or You could have said that you did not know anything about it.

    What else could I do? It means what you are capable of doing apart from (or besides) what you are doing at present. What are the other possibilities before you?
    Your friend asked you, how do you spend your free time? you answered that you play chess, which according to your friend is a waste of time. So you can ask this question to seek his advice.
    What else could I do? The answer can be:
    you could write a book. You could join a sports club.
    Last edited by sarat_106; 28-Feb-2010 at 07:56.

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    #4

    Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    What else could I have done?
    The answer could be; you could have avoided anwereing the question, or You could have said that you did not know anything about it.
    It should be "What else could I have done?" OR "What else could have I done?"

    In my 1st post I used the second version.

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    #5

    Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by kfredson View Post
    You are correct. That is the better thing to say. However, in common speech you might hear someone use the second sentence. In a sense it is short for saying, "Given the situation I was in, what else could I do?" It may not be grammatically correct but I doubt that most people would notice it or think it sounds strange.
    So if someone said: You didn't help her and ran away. And I would reply: What could I do? (instead of "What could have I done?) - it will be correct?

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    #6

    Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    It should be "What else could I have done?" OR "What else could have I done?"

    In my 1st post I used the second version.
    Yes, your respondents so far have missed this.
    It must be "What else could I have done?" or "What else could I do?"

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    #7

    Exclamation Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by GUEST2008 View Post
    It should be "What else could I have done?" OR "What else could have I done?"

    In my 1st post I used the second version.
    The first version sounds good to me, though I would not say that your version is wrong. Please see the head line of a news paper article on what other options were availabe for president Bush beside bombing Afghanistan (a similar situation as yours). What Else Could He Have Done?

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    #8

    Re: could have

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    The first version sounds good to me, though I would not say that your version is wrong. Please see the head line of a news paper article on what other options were availabe for president Bush beside bombing Afghanistan (a similar situation as yours). What Else Could He Have Done?
    That's right. It says:
    1. "What else could he have done?" not:
    2. "What else could have he done?"

    In the original post, the equivalent of 2. was written. No one has claimed that 2. is correct [yet], but neither had anyone pointed out that it was not correct.
    Would you call 2. correct?

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