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    #1

    'can have' related to the present

    Can the sentence 'I am afraid he can have support from that group' imply that it is possible from the view of the speaker that 'he' has support from that group' (i.e. be regarded as the suggestion that he has already support)?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'can have' related to the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Can the sentence 'I am afraid he can have support from that group' imply that it is possible from the view of the speaker that 'he' has support from that group' (i.e. be regarded as the suggestion that he has already support)?

    Thank you in advance.
    I don't find the sentence at all natural. It would be more natural with "might". The speaker is concerned that "he" possibly has support from "that group".

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    #3

    Re: 'can have' related to the present

    1. But is the sentence 'he can NOT have support from that group' also incorrect?
    As I know 'he can not have done that!' is used in English, but 'he can have done that' probably is not used.

    2. Is 'he can not have done that!' percepted as a logically correct construction or does it represent an idiom?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 'can have' related to the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    1. But is the sentence 'he can NOT have support from that group' also incorrect?
    As I know 'he can not have done that!' is used in English, but 'he can have done that' probably is not used.

    2. Is 'he can not have done that!' percepted as a logically correct construction or does it represent an idiom?

    Thank you in advance.
    "He cannot have support from that group" is correct. It means "It is not possible that he has support from that group".

    You are right that "He can have done that" is not used. We use "He could have ..." or "He might have ..." for possibility in the past and "He could/might ..." for the present and the future.

    "He cannot have done that" could be logically correct depending on the context. It is not an idiom.

    Me: My brother climbed Mount Everest last week.
    Tom: He cannot have done that. He was with me last week in London!
    Me: Oh, he must have lied about it.

    Tom is more likely​ to say "He can't have [done that]". Either one expresses his opinion that the preceding statement is impossible.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: 'can have' related to the present

    Thank you very much for your fair explanation.

    Do I understand right that in
    'Tom is more likely​ to say "He can't have [done that]". Either one expresses his opinion that the preceding statement is impossible'
    you meant that the form 'can't' is preferable with respect to 'cannot'?

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    #6

    Re: 'can have' related to the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
    Thank you very much for your fair explanation.

    Do I understand right that in 'Tom is more likely​ to say "He can't have [done that]". Either one expresses his opinion that the preceding statement is impossible', you meant that the form 'can't' is preferable with respect to 'cannot'?
    It's more natural and idiomatic with "can't" than with "cannot".
    "Cannot" is grammatically correct and the wonderful tennis player John McEnroe used it to great effect when screaming at various umpires "You CANNOT be serious!" when he was upset at a decision. It wouldn't have had the same effect if he'd shouted "You can't be serious". However, in normal everyday speech, you're more likely to hear "can't".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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