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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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      • Russian Federation
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    #1

    It can't have been him / It couldn't have been him

    Which modal verb should be used In the following situation:

    I saw Jim in town yeserday. - It couldn't have been / can't have been him. He is away on business, that's for sure.

    What's the difference between couldn't have been and can't have been - they are both used to refer to some past event, so can I use any of them in the above context?
    Last edited by englishhobby; 16-May-2013 at 08:03.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #2

    Re: It can't have been him / It couldn't have been him

    You can use either of them in the above context.

    (We only say any of them when there are more than two alternatives.)

    Rover

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: It can't have been him / It couldn't have been him

    There is no significant difference in meaning, isn't there?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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