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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 82
    #1

    could have been or had been

    Hello
    I was wondering if I could ask you a silly question. I got little bit confused.
    Do we always use " could have been" if we are talking about an imaginary or hypocritical situation in the past?
    Even if the people who we are talking about are dead?
    "Out of the three people who do you think could have been Jack the Ripper?"
    Can I say: " .........Could had been Jack the Ripper?"
    If we were discussing the suspects in Jack the Ripper case?
    Thank you an advance

  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
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      • Japan

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 2,695
    #2

    Re: could have been or had been

    Hi, elenah.
    The word you should use is "hypothetical", not "hypocritical".

    Can I say "...
    could have been Jack the Ripper"?

    Yes, you can.


  2. Piscean's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 9,938
    #3

    Re: could have been or had been

    Quote Originally Posted by elenah View Post
    Can I say: " .........Could had been Jack the Ripper?"
    No. Modals are followed only by the bare infinitive.

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