Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 26
    #1

    "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood

    Hello teachers,


    I have a question about the usage of "couldn't" and "wouldn't be able to"
    in the subjuctive mood.


    Without a dictionary, she ______________ solve this problem.


    I know that "wouldn't be able to" is can be used, but could "couldn't" be also
    used here? Also, if both can be used, is there any difference in the meaning
    of the sentence?


    Thank you for your help!

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood

    There is no real difference in meaning in negative constructions. Both 'couldn't' and 'wouldn't be able to' are possible.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2011
    • Posts: 26
    #3

    Re: "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood

    OK --- thank you for your reply!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Jan 2009
    • Posts: 1,507
    #4

    Re: "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood

    Note, incidentally, that neither of these forms as used here would qualify as 'subjunctive', although some more traditional grammarians (such as myself!) would term them forms of the conditional mood.

    They would be forms of the past subjunctive only in e.g.

    I'd be most grateful if you could help me.

    If you would care to follow me, I'll show you to your room.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #5

    Re: "couldn't" "wouldn't be able to" in subjunctive mood

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Note, incidentally, that neither of these forms as used here would qualify as 'subjunctive',...

Similar Threads

  1. Defining "Street," "Road," "Avenue," "Boulevard"
    By ahumphreys in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 31-Dec-2010, 08:14
  2. [Grammar] Subjunctive mood: The usage of omitting "if"
    By terrenziqq in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 26-Dec-2009, 18:55
  3. [Vocabulary] How do you pronounce "Cotton", "Button", "Britain", "Manhattan"...
    By Williamyh in forum Pronunciation and Phonetics
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2009, 09:36
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Sep-2008, 08:27
  5. confusing words "expressed" or "express" and "named" or"names"
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 19:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •