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      • Native Language:
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    #1

    could/could have

    Hi there,
    What is the difference between using could and could have in the following sentence?
    A: Who sent those flowers?
    B: I'm not sure. It could be/could have been your mother.

    Thanks

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could/could have

    It is just a slightly different way of looking it it:

    It could be - I think there is a possibility that your mother is the person who sent them.
    It could have been - I think there is a possibility that your mother sent them.

    I think 'could have been' is more likely.
    Last edited by 5jj; 27-Jul-2011 at 18:49. Reason: typo

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: could/could have

    Hi fivejedjon,
    I couldn't get the difference yet!!! Would you explain a bit more?
    Thanks

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: could/could have

    It could be - I think there is a possibility that your mother is the person who sent them. The focus is on the person, your mother, in the present
    It could have been - I think there is a possibility that your mother sent them. The focus is on the giving in the past.

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