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    #1

    Couldnt have robbed/couldnt rob//had been/was---verb tense?

    Then, the next day a man who was suspected of robbing a jewelry store was caught by other colleagues, but the suspect insisted that he “couldn’t have robbed” the jewelry store because he “had been” in a completely different neighborhood that night, breaking into a cell phone shop.
    In the first quotes, can I say "couldn’t rob" instead of “couldn’t have robbed”? In the second quotes, can I say "was" instead of "had been"? Which verb tense is better?

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Couldnt have robbed/couldnt rob//had been/was---verb tense?

    It's fine as it is. It wouldn't be wrong with "couldn't rob" and "was", but the meaning would be different.
    Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.

    Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Couldnt have robbed/couldnt rob//had been/was---verb tense?

    With the probably intended meaning, "couldn't have robbed" is necessary. You could use either for the second. I'd use 'was'.

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