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Thread: modal

  1. #1

    modal

    Which is correct? Is there anything wrong with the sentence?

    She ---- whatever cars she liked, but she usually preferred Hondas.

    A) had bought
    B) could buy
    C) is supposed to buy
    D) could have bought
    E) has bought

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #2

    Re: modal

    D) is the best for me, though B) works. 'chose' would be a better verb than 'preferred'. IMO.

  3. #3

    Re: modal

    thank you, tdol.

  4. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
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    #4

    Re: modal

    I have to disagree. To me, D) implies that she had the chance to buy whatever car she wanted, but that chance has now passed; and so the bit about preferring Hondas is a non-sequiteur (a posh word meaning: "Has nothing to do with what we're talking about").

    The sentence means that in former times, she was in a position to buy whatever car she wanted -- but now she's not earning as much, or the price of cars has gone up. The simple past of "can" -- "could" -- makes more sense to me here.

  5. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #5

    Re: modal

    I took it as meaning that Hondas were her choice though she could afford much better.

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