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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 36
    #1

    About inference of past

    Hello, Teachers.

    May I ask you a few questions?

    Yes, first of all, I have big questions at this time.

    1. " He can have said so. "
    2. "He cannot have said so."

    In my own dictionary, both sentences seem to right on grammar.

    Also, in point of grammatical view,
    it said "can + have + pp, cannot + have + pp" mean "the possible-ness about the past" as well as "may have + pp" (etc .

    Although, I've almost nothing to hear of or see these sentence(especially 1st sentence I wrote) in my experience.

    Then, so are these sentences really grammatically correct? And if so, they are useful
    in native English
    ?

    If someone replies to my above two question, it would be great for me.

    Thanks in advance.

    Regards,


    Jun
    Last edited by Ju_n; 23-Jan-2006 at 03:33.

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

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
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    #2

    Re: About inference of past

    We don't use the positive form can + have + past participle, but we do use the negative. When making assumptions, etc, we use the following patterns:
    He must have said so. = I'm sure that he said so.
    He can't have said so. = I'm sure he didn't say so
    Yes, they are useful in native English- we often wish to express our degree of certainty about something.


    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 36
    #3

    Re: About inference of past

    Dear tdol

    Thank you for your excellent answer as always!!!!
    I was completely able to understand about that.

    Hmm, it's just worth studying.Very interesting thing!

    Thank you all the same!! tdol.


    Best Regards,

    Jun

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

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,910
    #4

    Re: About inference of past

    You're welcome, Jun.

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