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    #1

    Modal & tenses

    Hello, if i want to use modal in this sentense, which tenses i should use for it? The situation was happened in past.

    " I couldnt have stopped laughing while i was viewing this photo."

    pls reply asap,thanks =)


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    #2

    Re: Modal & tenses

    There's nothing wrong with this sentence, though unless you have some specific reason for using the perfect tense here, it would be more natural to say:

    "I couldn't stop laughing while I was looking at this photo."

    I don't like "viewing" here; it sounds formal and literary. It's okay to be formal and literary, of course, but there doesn't seem any reason to use "viewing" here.

    I'm not sure I've answered your answered your question, but am firing this off because you asked for a response "asap."

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by clarasoon View Post
    Hello, if i want to use modal in this sentense, which tenses i should use for it? The situation was happened in past.

    " I couldnt have stopped laughing while i was viewing this photo."

    pls reply asap,thanks =)

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    #3

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Hi baqarah131,

    Excuse my curiosity, but I like the life's checkered scene.

    Do I stand my chance of success to realize a modification of the
    Clarasoon's original sentence?

    "I couldn't help laughing when I looked at this photo."

    Does this new sentence puts a new face on things?

    Regards.

    V.


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    #4

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by clarasoon View Post
    Hello, if i want to use modal in this sentense, which tenses i should use for it? The situation was happened in past.

    " I couldn't have stopped laughing while i was viewing this photo."

    pls reply asap,thanks =)
    The perfect is not needed unless the speaker wants to describe a conditional situation,

    "While I was viewing this photo, I couldn't have stopped laughing unless someone had shot me."


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    #5

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Interesting that you've found this expression and that you understand it. The meaning isn't obvious. Maybe you could use a few examples.

    I couldn't help falling down because the road was slilppery.
    She couldn't help nagging her husband.
    He couldn't help losing his temper.
    "I can't help loving you" is an actual song.
    You can't help making mistakes when you're learning a language.

    The meaning is that you don't intend to do something, but you can't stop yourself from doing it.

    Maybe my explanations aren't always clear, and my examples aren't always the best, but I can't help trying.

    regards
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi baqarah131,

    Excuse my curiosity, but I like the life's checkered scene.

    Do I stand my chance of success to realize a modification of the
    Clarasoon's original sentence?

    "I couldn't help laughing when I looked at this photo."

    Does this new sentence puts a new face on things?

    Regards.

    V.

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    #6

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Hi Baqarah131,

    Thank you for your magnanimity.

    Your present explanations were clear as days.

    Thank you again for your gratuitous help, which did me a lot of good.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. rewboss's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Thank you again for your gratuitous help
    vil, although it is technically the correct word here, we usually use "gratuitous" in a negative sense, especially in the collocation "gratuitous violence" to describe unnecessarily violent scenes in a movie. Perhaps "generous" or "kind" would be a better fit here.

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    #8

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Hi rewboss,

    Thank you for your professional correction.

    I had a presentiment that it would be so (someone will reprehend me for usage of "gratuitous" on this place in my post) and in order to avoid any misunderstanding I supplemented the phrase "which did me a lot of good".

    Anyway, I agree with the usage of the suggested from you ordinary, but "positively charged" word "generous" and "kind", notwithstanding the fact that there is in my dictionary the following definition for the adjective "gratuitous", namely "given to or granted without return or recompense; unearned" or "given or received without cost or obligation, free".

    There is in Business dictionary the following definition for this word: "uncalled for; item or service given free of charge; Examples are a sample given to a potential customer to promote a product or service performed by an employee working voluntarily on his personal time. (similar to the activities of the NES in the present forum)

    There is in my Bulgarian-English dictionary the following succession of words concerning the mentioned above word:
    adv. gratis, free of charge, for nothing, gratuitous, without compensation
    adj. gratuitous, free, unpaid, a free service

    I will follow your generous recommendation in my future practice.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Happy New Year.

    Regards.

    V.

  2. rewboss's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Yes, dictionaries can't tell you everything, and the only way you can find out whether a particular word is unsuitable is to wait until a native speaker tells you. That's what forums like this are for.

    And incidentally:
    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    There is in Business dictionary the following definition for this word: "uncalled for...
    What your dictionary doesn't tell you is that, once again, we usually use "uncalled for" in very negative contexts. If, for example, I insulted you for no reason, one of the other moderators would tell me that my insults were uncalled for; that is, you did nothing to deserve my insults.

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    #10

    Re: Modal & tenses

    Hi rewboss,

    Thank you again for your inexhaustible patience and unremitting endeavor. I wouldn't help looking for your kind admonitions (in this case I hint at "advises", as well as " warnings, reminders, and even "scoldings".)

    Tank you for your noteworthy tenacity.

    In the end I understand now why I have to abstain from the usage of the word "gratuitous". I caught the most annoying meaning of this word, namely "unnecessary or unwarranted, unjustified", as in "gratuitous criticism" or "not required, necessary, or warranted by the circumstances of the case" as the way it is by its synonym "wanton" = "immoral or unchaste, lewd", "gratuitously cruel", "merciless", marked by unprovoked, gratuitous, maliciousness, capricious and unjust; "wanton destruction".

    Regards.

    V.

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