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    #1

    How could you do that to me?

    Hello, everyone. Could you please explain to me the difference between How could you do that to me? and How could you have done that to me? when asked as referring to a past action of somebody doing something bad to you?
    Much obliged.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    There is no difference in meaning.
    “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

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    #3

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    There is no difference in meaning.
    Hi. I know that there's no difference in meaning, I was asking about the grammatical use, like when do I use which?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    They are more or less interchangeable.
    “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

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    #5

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    They are more or less interchangeable.
    Could you be more specific?

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    #6

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    I think the first one could refer to a regular/habitual act in the present, as in 'You often shift the responsibility onto me. How could you do that to me?'
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    Yes, but andi's question was specifically about a past action.

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    #8

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Yes, but andi's question was specifically about a past action.
    Exactly. I want to know in what sense the modal verb Could is used in "How could you do that to me?" when asked in reference to a past action.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    I would use "How could you do that to me?" to refer to something someone did to me in the past more frequently than I would use "How could you have done that to me?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #10

    Re: How could you do that to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I would use "How could you do that to me?" to refer to something someone did to me in the past more frequently than I would use "How could you have done that to me?"
    And in what sense is the modal verb Could used in "How could you do that to me?" It's not a past ability, is it?
    Last edited by andi harper; 28-Mar-2016 at 10:32.

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