Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    joham is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,617

    can't or couldn't have a nicer one

    ---Are you satisfied with this hotel?
    ---Not a little. We can't have a nicer one.

    I read this dialogue in a test paper. I thought 'can't' was not fine with this situation and we should say 'We couldn't have a nicer one'.

    And I often hear Chinese say 'I can't agree more' if he/she agrees completely. I thought they should say 'I couldn't agree more'. Am I right?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by joham; 05-Apr-2009 at 03:43.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    19,397

    Re: can't or couldn't have a nicer one

    The answer in the the test paper is altogether wrong. This is what it should have been to be properly colloquial: A: "Very much. We couldn't have a nicer one".


    Yes, you are right - it will be "I couldn't agree with you more".

  3. #3
    riverkid is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,059

    Re: can't or couldn't have a nicer one

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    ---Are you satisfied with this hotel?
    ---Not a little. We can't have a nicer one.

    I read this dialogue in a test paper. I thought 'can't' was not fine with this situation and we should say 'We couldn't have a nicer one'.

    And I often hear Chinese say 'I can't agree more' if he/she agrees completely. I thought they should say 'I couldn't agree more'. Am I right?

    Thank you very much.
    I think that Anglika is probably right but it's so unidiomatic that it's hard to know what they mean. One potential.

    A: Are you satisfied with this hotel?
    B: Not a bit. [but] We can't [have] get a nicer one.

    "I can't agree with you more" is a possibility.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 196,000 English pages for "I can't agree with you more".

    Both say, "it's not possible for me to agree with you any more than I do".

    The difference is the standard difference between can and could with could being less forward, more deferential, more polite, less in your face, softer, etc.

Posting Permissions

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