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    #1

    Red face Negative deductions referring to the future

    In grammar books, it is written that you can use "cannot" or can't for negative deduction like

    ' Susy cannot stay at her mother's house because she is in hospital.'

    I know that this works for situations in the present but what about negative deductions referring to the future like

    'Tony cannot come to his sister's bithday party tonight because he is in hospital.' meaning that I conclude from Tony's situation that it is not possible or true he will be at his sister's birthday party tonight or would only this sentence be correct?

    'Tony will not be able to come to his sister's birthday party because he is in hospital.'


    What about in conditional sentences in which the main clause refers to the future
    like


    'If my son ever breaks the table, we cannot use it.' or is there only one correct way of putting this sentence ' If my son ever breaks the table, we will not be able to use it.'


    I am looking forward to your answers

    Greetings from Bavaria

    Joern

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Oct 2010
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    #2

    Re: Negative deductions referring to the future

    Quote Originally Posted by Joern Matthias View Post
    In grammar books, it is written that you can use "cannot" or can't for negative deduction like

    ' Susy cannot stay at her mother's house because she is in hospital.'
    No. I'ts situations like this:

    That can't be the president. The president wouldn't be shopping in Walmart.

    Your sentence means 'Susy is not able to stay ...'.
    I know that this works for situations in the present but what about negative deductions referring to the future like

    'Tony cannot come to his sister's bithday party tonight because he is in hospital.' meaning that I conclude from Tony's situation that it is not possible or true he will be at his sister's birthday party tonight or would only this sentence be correct?

    'Tony will not be able to come to his sister's birthday party because he is in hospital.'
    Only the second meaning is possible.
    What about in conditional sentences in which the main clause refers to the future like

    'If my son ever breaks the table, we cannot use it.' or is there only one correct way of putting this sentence ' If my son ever breaks the table, we will not be able to use it.'
    Only the second sentence is possible.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 73
    #3

    Re: Negative deductions referring to the future

    Hello 5jj,

    Thank you very much. Your answer was very helpful.

    Best wishes


    Joern

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