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    #1

    it could not have been your ex!

    Hi,

    *self-made*

    A: Who sent those flowers?
    B: I am not that sure. But what I am sure is that it could not have been your ex!

    I would like to learn if I was able to use 'could not have been' in the sentence right. If yes, is 'could not have been' equal to 'can not have been' in the sentence above? (I think, yes)

    Thanks.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    I would say 'it could not be your ex!'
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    Thanks for the answer, but why not 'could not have been'? The question, 'who SENT those flowers' is in the past.

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    #4

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    I just though that 'it could not have been your ex!' means 'your ex could not have sent those.'

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    I just though that 'it could not have been your ex!' means 'your ex could not have sent those.'
    That is right.

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    #6

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    So, "it could not be your ex!" is wrong.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    I just thought that 'it could not be your ex' means 'it was not possible that it was your ex'.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    So, "it could not be your ex!" is wrong.
    It's not exactly wrong.

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    #9

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    What is the difference then?

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: it could not have been your ex!

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    What is the difference then?
    To me, one ('could not have been') is better than the other. There's no difference in the pragmatic meaning.

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