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    #11

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    As you can see from post #8, it's the same in the US. So I don't see a big difference between British and American. We both prefer "I ran as fast as I could."
    I don't think any Americans would say either "I ran as fast as I could have run" or "I ran as fast as I could have."
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't think any Americans would say either "I ran as fast as I could have run" or "I ran as fast as I could have."
    And if we're to believe Peter in post #9, most Brits wouldn't, either.

    I think this one is settled.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #13

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    No, sorry Charlie. It's not settled for me. As far as I'm concerned, there's absolutely nothing wrong with "I could have" or "I could've". And of course, there should be no issue with "I ran as fast as I ...". So combining the two is okay as far as I'm concerned. You and others may disagree, but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. We can agree to disagree.

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    #14

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    I think "grammaticality" and "idiomaticity" are two different things.

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    #15

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I don't think any Americans would say either "I ran as fast as I could have run" or "I ran as fast as I could have."
    If we used "could have," the "as"-clause would either have a different subject or a different main verb (or both):

    (i) I ran as fast as she could have.
    (ii) I ran as fast as I could have walked.
    (iii) I ran as fast as she could have walked.

    In each case, there is counterfactual meaning in the "as"-clause. In (i), she didn't run, but if she had, she could have gone as fast as the speaker.

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    #16

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    I think the "could" in "I ran as fast as I could" might be paraphrased in this way:

    "I ran as fast as I was able to", where we use the person's "real" ability to run instead of their hypothetical ability, "could've run"="would've been able to". But I'm not very sure.

  7. Moderator
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    #17

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    I think the "could" in "I ran as fast as I could" might be paraphrased in this way:

    "I ran as fast as I was able to" ….
    That's correct. I didn't understand the rest of your post.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    That's correct. I didn't understand the rest of your post.
    Having thought about this some more, I now hear a difference in meaning, the one formulation having a subjective orientation and the other an objective one.

    A: I ran as fast as I could run. Really, I tried my hardest.
    B: Well, I think that you could have run faster.
    A: Sorry, but I think you're wrong. I ran as fast as I could have run. I could not have run any faster. I had no more strength left in me.


    Compare:

    He drove as fast as he could drive (when he reached 150 mph, he nearly fainted from fear),
    and as fast as he could have driven (the car that he was driving cannot go over 150 mph).

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    #19

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    I didn't understand the rest of your post.
    I meant "was able to run" means the person's ability to run at the time, at that particular situation, as opposed to his ability to run at any time, at any real/imaginable situation, which is indicated by "could've run" or "would've been able to run".
    Last edited by NAL123; 02-Jul-2020 at 07:01.

  10. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    The trouble with all your alternatives is they aren't natural.

    If "I ran as fast as I could" doesn't say exactly what you mean, you might use:

    - I couldn't have run any faster.

    - I ran my fastest.

    - That was as fast as I could run.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 02-Jul-2020 at 18:17.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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