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    #1

    grammar

    I could have worked late tomorrow.
    I could have been working late tomorrow.

    Both sentences are grammatically right? Please.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    I could have worked late tomorrow.*
    I could have been working late tomorrow.

    Both sentences are grammatically right? Please.

    The second is unusual, but possible, if the 'have been' refers - in effect - to something that's already happened (the arrangement to work late):

    'My manager offered me the choice. I could have been working [that is, " I could have been put down on the roster to work..."] late tomorrow, but I chose to go home at the normal time and come in on Saturday instead.'

    b

    *PS See later discussion. Context can justify this.
    Last edited by BobK; 23-Mar-2009 at 12:03. Reason: Added clarification; and, later, PS

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    #3

    Re: grammar

    I read this from a grammar book:

    Could he have left by tomorrow?

    The sentence refers the action in future?

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by puzzle View Post
    I read this from a grammar book:

    Could he have left by tomorrow?

    The sentence refers the action in future?
    Absolutely! He'll be done with his work by the end of the day. He could have left by tomorrow if the airline union hadn't gone on strike this morning. Now he's stuck here until bus service is restored.

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    #5

    Re: grammar

    I see no problem with "I could have worked late tomorrow."

    A...The boss wanted to add a late shift tomorrow, but he was short one person so he had to abandon that idea.
    B...Really? No one said anything to me about that. I could have worked late tomorrow.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: grammar

    By extreme manipulation of the extra-linguistic context, it is possible to justify the grammaticality of more or less any random string of words. This is a teaching forum, not a Brains Trust. Given the title of the forum, one has to make a judgement call about the abilities of the original poster. The alternative is to treat this forum as a platform for ego-stroking. Whatever the question, the knee-jerk answer is 'that's grammatical' (followed by a clever-clever set of unlikely circumstances - with an implied 'Aren't I clever?').

    'Could he have left by tomorrow?' is fine, for irrelevant reasons - specifically, the inclusion of the word 'by'. 'Could he have left tomorrow' is unacceptable, unless you specify an unusually detailed context. If you want to discuss that, fine - but not in the 'Ask a teacher' forum.

    b

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    #7

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    By extreme manipulation of the extra-linguistic context, it is possible to justify the grammaticality of more or less any random string of words. This is a teaching forum, not a Brains Trust. Given the title of the forum, one has to make a judgement call about the abilities of the original poster. The alternative is to treat this forum as a platform for ego-stroking. Whatever the question, the knee-jerk answer is 'that's grammatical' (followed by a clever-clever set of unlikely circumstances - with an implied 'Aren't I clever?').

    'Could he have left by tomorrow?' is fine, for irrelevant reasons - specifically, the inclusion of the word 'by'. 'Could he have left tomorrow' is unacceptable, unless you specify an unusually detailed context. If you want to discuss that, fine - but not in the 'Ask a teacher' forum.

    b
    I don't know how much of your comment is related to my post, but it's safe to assume that at least some of it is.
    "I could have worked late tomorrow." is hardly "...any random string of words! If you have difficulty understanding it, that's your problem.

    Whatever the level of the original poster is, it's their question, not a question imposed upon them. (Of course students of all levels may read the posts.)

    Yes, it's a teaching forum. So telling students that "I could have worked late tomorrow." is wrong is simply incorrect. And there is nothing unlikely about the scenario I used. Nor is there any extreme manipulation required!

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    #8

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Whatever the level of the original poster is, it's their question, not a question imposed upon them. (Of course students of all levels may read the posts.)

    Yes, it's a teaching forum. So telling students that "I could have worked late tomorrow." is wrong is simply incorrect. And there is nothing unlikely about the scenario I used. Nor is there any extreme manipulation required!

    As a student, I'd rather opt for your stand in this controversy. Though I'm not sure there are too many of us, but, speaking for myself, I can often find iin such "talking shop" some depth I can hardly (as a rule) find in a teacher-to-student lecture...

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by siegfried_rus View Post
    As a student, I'd rather opt for your stand in this controversy. Though I'm not sure there are too many of us, but, speaking for myself, I can often find iin such "talking shop" some depth I can hardly (as a rule) find in a teacher-to-student lecture...
    OK. I bow to the wishes of students. (But there still remains in my mind the fear that if I say - to someone whose question takes the form "Both sentences are grammatically right? Please" - 'What you say is grammatically correct" I will be exposing them to ridicule. And that's not what I want. )

    b

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    #10

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    OK. I bow to the wishes of students. (But there still remains in my mind the fear that if I say - to someone whose question takes the form "Both sentences are grammatically right? Please" - 'What you say is grammatically correct" I will be exposing them to ridicule. And that's not what I want. )

    b

    Sorry, I may seem "ridiculous' as I can't see your point in thinking that a layman like me could be "exposed to ridicule" in the context. Does "grammatically correct" refer to the gist, the message of the question asked or to the way it is (clumsily) worded?
    Recurring to my previous post, I'd add that I'm keen on any opportunity to look at the live substance of a language I study from inside -- through the eyes of its native speakers -- what they think or, rather, feel when sayng something the way they do. Implicit vs explicit.

    Anyway, I can't, in turn, but bow to your tact in approaching teaching matters.

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