Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    ajtokyo is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

    I'm trying to help an English student with the following question:

    Kate ( ) her way, for she has come here several times.

    1. couldn't lose 2. could have lost 3. can't have lost 4. can be lost

    The book states the CORRECT ANSWER is 3. "can't have lost", but the student has chosen 1. "couldn't lose". Is there a simple way to explain why the correct answer is 3? Honestly, they both seem like they could be correct to me, so I had a tough time explaining.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    25,698

    Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajtokyo View Post
    I'm trying to help an English student with the following question:

    Kate ( ) her way, for she has come here several times.

    1. couldn't lose 2. could have lost 3. can't have lost 4. can be lost

    The book states the CORRECT ANSWER is 3. "can't have lost", but the student has chosen 1. "couldn't lose". Is there a simple way to explain why the correct answer is 3? Honestly, they both seem like they could be correct to me, so I had a tough time explaining.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
    They are both possible.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    74,047

    Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

    I presume they are trying to test can't have lost for an assumption, but they haven't done it very clearly.

  4. #4
    ajtokyo is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    3

    Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

    Thank you bhaisahab and Tdol. I appreciate your feedback!

Posting Permissions

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