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  1. Dany's Avatar

    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 602

    Past perfect of "can"


    I got a question again.

    Is it possible to use "could + 3rd form of the verb" as past perfect of "can"? If not, what is the past perfect of can?

    In my book there isn't given a 3rd form of "can".

    Example: We could rent a car. (Is this sentence correct?)

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by Dany; 12-Jan-2005 at 20:30.

  2. #2

    Re: Past perfect of "can"


    well, it depends on what you want to say.
    Let me try to explain.

    Situation #1
    Your friend bought called a boy whom she is into. She COULD have written a letter to him.

    So you use COULD + have + pp main verb because it describes an hipothetical sitatuation which you WISH it had happen but it didn'.t

    Situation #2
    In a restaurant, you need a fork.
    You call the waiter and ask him "Could you please bring me another fork?"

    You use COULD in this situation for making requests politly.

    I am kinda sleepy so I cant figure any other example into my sleepy tired mind.

    I hope I helped you.


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    Re: Past perfect of "can"

    We could have rented a car = we had the chance but didn't
    We had been able to rent a car = the renting took place before another past action, so this is the way to make a past perfect with 'can', as it doesn't have a past participle.

  3. Dany's Avatar

    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 602

    Re: Past perfect of "can"

    Thanks a lot for you explanation.

    Kind regards,

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