Results 1 to 2 of 2
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,614
    • Post Thanks / Like

    why not 'can't' but 'couldn't'?

    I read this question somewhere before and have been puzzled about the original answer of 'couldn't':

    ---Have some more cake.
    ---Oh, I couldn't/ can't. Thank you.

    I thought both answers are all right and I'm more likely to say 'I can't'.
    Do both 'couldn't' and 'can't' sound all right in the reply? Could you explain why?
    I was hoping a native English teacher could give me the answer. Thank you very much in advance.

    Thank you.

  1. oregeezer's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Thailand

    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 347
    • Post Thanks / Like

    Re: why not 'can't' but 'couldn't'?

    Either is okay.
    'couldn't' is usually taken to mean "I should not. It will make me fat!"
    'can't' is more like "I am too full."


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts