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    #1

    Would have, could have, should have

    If someone have a patience please explain how works "could have; should have; would have" somewhere I read that they express lost opportunity in the past I tried to sort out this problem, but unfortunately I didn't find information about them. While I was reading a book today I have seen them maybe one hundred time. Below is a few examples with "could have".

    It's not about anything they could have done or I could have done.
    It could have been from the mayor, or it could have been from a third party.
    It could have been better, but it could have been worse.

  1. Calis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Would have, could have, should have

    If someone have a patience please explain how works "could have; should have; would have"
    In English, one does not say *"If someone have a patience". There are two things wrong with that sentence: you have not conjugated "to have" for third-person singular (as "someone" is neither the speaker nor the addressee and there is only one "someone" ) which would be "has". Secondly, you are saying *"a patience", which is not allowed, because "patience" is an uncountable noun one cannot count "patiences" i.e. *"I have six patiences".

    Now, onto the topic at hand,
    Could have denotes an action or a state that had the possibility of happening under a certain condition in the past.
    "If you had given me the book, I could have put it under the right section."
    Would have denotes an action or a state (I can't think of any other way of putting this) would have happened under a certain condition in the past.
    "If you had given me the book, I would have put it under the right section."
    Shoud have denotes an action or a state that ought to have happened but did not.
    "You should have given me the book; I would have been able to put it under the right section."

    I hope that you have understood if there is something you still need help with, just ask.

    [Not a teacher]

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    #3

    Re: Would have, could have, should have

    Thanks Calis,
    If I hadn't created this thread, I wouldn't have known about these things "should, would, could - have" =)

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Would have, could have, should have

    It's not about anything they could have done or I could have done.

    Depending on the context, there are two possible meanings:

    1. "There is the possibility that they/I had the ability to to something, but they/I did not do it."
    2. 'Could' has a similar meaning to 'might'
    , and there is the possibility that they/I did it.

    It could have been from the mayor, or it could have been from a third party.
    "It is possible that it came from the mayor or from a third party."

    It could have been better, but it could have been worse.
    "It had the potential to be better or worse than it was. That potential was not realised."

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