can't or couldn't have a nicer one

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joham

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---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.
 
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Anglika

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Oct 19, 2006
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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".
 

riverkid

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Aug 17, 2006
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---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.
 
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