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    #1

    could be VS could have been

    Howdy howdy!


    Would you please tell me which one is correct or makes sense?

    I'm wondering whether I could be in love this much If I had been born as a butterfly!
    I'm wondering whether I could have been in love this much If I was born as a butterfly!

    The first is mine and the second is my friend's. It's about a girl who wishes she could be a butterfly!

    Thanks very much in advance.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could be VS could have been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post
    Howdy howdy!


    Would you please tell me which one is correct or makes sense?

    I'm wondering whether I could be in love this much If I had been born as a butterfly!
    I'm wondering whether I could have been in love this much If I was born as a butterfly!

    The first is mine and the second is my friend's. It's about a girl who wishes she could be a butterfly!

    Thanks very much in advance.
    The first one is better but it would be even better as: "I'm wondering whether I could be this much in love If I had been born as a butterfly!"

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    #3

    Re: could be VS could have been

    Thanks very much for the answer.

    Would you please tell me If I'm right with my interpretation?:

    I think when somebody wishes he or she could be another person, specially when we are talking about the birth of that person, we have to use the past participle of the verb:

    For example:

    If I had been born in the U.S, I could now live in, my favorite city, wishington!

    And It is something that already has happend, so you can't say:

    If I were born in the U.S, I could now live in, my favorite city, wishington!

    And I don't really think a sentence like this is grammatically acceptable at all :

    If I were born in the U.S, I could have lived in, my favorite city, wishington!
    Last edited by Nathan Mckane; 14-Nov-2010 at 16:48.

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    #4

    Re: could be VS could have been

    Please, I need to be sure about my reasoning, but I'm not!

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: could be VS could have been

    I'm very bad with conditionals, so I hope a qualified teacher will be along to address this, but I agree that "If I had been born" sounds much better than "If I were born."

    (Note: Washington is the name of the city, with an A)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: could be VS could have been

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Mckane View Post


    And I don't really think a sentence like this is grammatically acceptable at all :

    If I were born in the U.S, I could have lived in, my favorite city, wishington!
    No, it's not, you should use "had been born". There is no present tense for "born" in modern English, it is mostly used in the past tense "I/he/she was born" and sometimes in the future "the baby will be born on X date", although we usually say "...is due on X date".

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