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    #1

    come

    Hi there,

    Mary has invited Paul to her birthday party. But Paul hasn't shown up yet. Mary then called Peter:


    Mary: Where are you? We are waiting for you.
    Paul: Oh, I am still working. I can't come to your party.

    Question 1:
    Can I use 'can't go' here?




    tks
    simon

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    #2

    Re: come

    Quote Originally Posted by simon1234 View Post
    Hi there,

    Mary has invited Paul to her birthday party. But Paul hasn't shown up yet. Mary then called Peter:


    Mary: Where are you? We are waiting for you.
    Paul: Oh, I am still working. I can't come to your party.

    Question 1:
    Can I use 'can't go' here?




    tks
    simon

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Simon,


    I do not know whether one can use "can't go" in that

    sentence, but I think that most native speakers would be

    more comfortable with "can't come."

    Let's see whether I can explain the reason.

    (1) Mary and Paul are on the phone. Mary is at home.

    Paul is at work. Mary is calling Paul. So when Paul talks

    with Mary, he is in (mentally speaking) already at her

    house!!! So when he says, "I can't come," he is "mentally"

    saying, "I can't come here [Mary's house]."

    (a) Here is another example that may make my explanation

    a little clearer.

    Mary (at home) is talking on the phone to Joe, her husband at work:

    Mary: We don't have any bread.

    Joe: Don't worry. I'll bring some bread home tonight.

    If Joe had said, "I'll take some bread," that would have sounded

    strange. When Joe was speaking with his wife, he was "mentally"

    already at her place (home). So you always bring something here,

    but take something there.

    *****


    By the way -- returning to your question --consider this telephone conversation:

    Mary (at home): Don't forget to visit Mona in the hospital.

    Paul (still at work): I have to work late, so I can't go to the

    hospital today. It will have to wait until tomorrow. But don't worry.

    I will definitely come to your party tonight -- although I will arrive

    very late.


    THANK YOU & HAPPY NEW YEAR

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    #3

    Re: come

    hi there,
    thanks so much.
    How about this sentence?

    I can't (go/ come) to your Christmas party because I have so much work to do.
    tks
    simon

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: come

    Although this makes little sense, either one is okay.

    I can't go. I can't come.
    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.

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