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      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
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      • Turkey
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    • Join Date: Sep 2014
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    #1

    Why couldn't you

    Hello,

    I have searched the usage of the negative questions of "could" to refer to the past abilities but I could not find anything regarding that.

    Here is my understanding: we can use "could" in negative questions to refer to both specific one occasion and general)

    - Why couldn't you carry that table yesterday? (=specific occasion)

    - Couldn't you speak until the age of five? (=genera ability)

    Thanks.

  1. teechar's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
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      • Iraq
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      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 6,180
    #2

    Re: Why couldn't you

    I don't think the distinction between "one specific occasion" and "in general" is relevant to explaining the usage of "could" in negative questions.

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