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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    can't and couldn't

    Car prices have gone down a lot, but even so, we couldn't afford to buy one.

    This sentence comes from CAMBRIDGE LEARNER'S DICTIONARY. I'd like to know if we can say 'can't afford' without changing the original meaning.

    Thank you in advance.

  1. #2

    Re: can't and couldn't

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Car prices have gone down a lot, but even so, we couldn't afford to buy one.

    This sentence comes from CAMBRIDGE LEARNER'S DICTIONARY. I'd like to know if we can say 'can't afford' without changing the original meaning.

    Thank you in advance.
    Yes, you can and I think 'can't afford' sounds more natural.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Dec 2007
    • Posts: 145
    #3

    Re: can't and couldn't

    Hi Joham

    I think I would take it that saying, couldn't afford one, as would never be able to afford one,or not likely to be able to afford one in the future.
    Can't afford one, as being now Can't afford one now.

    Take care
    Stilo
    Last edited by Stilo; 15-Mar-2008 at 07:44. Reason: TYPO

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