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  1. Member
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    #1

    I ran as fast as I could have run

    Consider this sentence of mine, please:

    1) I will run as fast as I can.

    The past tense version of 1) would be:

    2) I ran as fast as I could.

    Can we use "could have run" in place of "could" in 2)?

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    #2

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    No, you use could have run only if you didn't run.
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    No, you use could have run only if you didn't run.
    No, that's incorrect. See below.

    Quote Originally Posted by NAL123 View Post
    Can we use "could have run" in place of "could" in 2)?
    Yes, you can. In fact, you could also just say "I ran as fast as I could have".

    Coach: That's not good enough. You'll have to run faster to stand a chance in the upcoming competition.
    Runner: I did my best. I ran as fast as I could have (run).

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    #4

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    No, that's incorrect. See below.


    Yes, you can. In fact, you could also just say "I ran as fast as I could have".

    Coach: That's not good enough. You'll have to run faster to stand a chance in the upcoming competition.
    Runner: I did my best. I ran as fast as I could have (run).
    Then why do you use could have run when you can use could run?
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  5. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Because it's possible in English.
    Take a look at the following link. It explains the use of "could have".
    https://www.perfect-english-grammar....ould-have.html

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    #6

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Coach: That's not good enough. You'll have to run faster to stand a chance in the upcoming competition.
    Runner: I did my best. I ran as fast as I could have (run).
    That really doesn't work for me. Is this a British/American difference?
    I am not a teacher.

  7. teechar's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    It could be, and it wouldn't surprise me if it is. AmE is diverging all the time away from BrE.

  8. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Whew! I'd just leave it at "I ran as fast as I could."

    The other suggestions might be grammatical, but none is natural.
    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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    #9

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    That really doesn't work for me. Is this a British/American difference?
    I agree. Speaking colloquial BrE I would say "I ran as fast as I could". Saying "I ran as fast as I could have run" is fine but doesn't sound quite as natural. On the other hand "I ran as fast as I could have" is a construction that my parents would have corrected me for as sounding "working class".

  10. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I ran as fast as I could have run

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterCW View Post
    I agree. Speaking colloquial BrE I would say "I ran as fast as I could". Saying "I ran as fast as I could have run" is fine but doesn't sound quite as natural. On the other hand "I ran as fast as I could have" is a construction that my parents would have corrected me for as sounding "working class".
    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'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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