How could I not do that?

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keannu

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Does it refer to the past or the present? "How could~ " is always confusing and seems dubious. Maybe it could be same as "How couldn't I have done that", referring to the past.
3)Show gratitude. When I got tenure, I took my research team to an amusement park for a week. One of the other professors asked, “How can you do that?” I said these people worked hard to help me get the best job in the world for life. How could I not do that?
 

Gillnetter

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Does it refer to the past or the present? "How could~ " is always confusing and seems dubious. Maybe it could be same as "How couldn't I have done that", referring to the past.
3)Show gratitude. When I got tenure, I took my research team to an amusement park for a week. One of the other professors asked, “How can you do that?” I said these people worked hard to help me get the best job in the world for life. How could I not do that?
If he took his team to a park that happened in the past. The other professor made an error by saying, "How can you do that?" "can" is used for the present tense, "Can you do this"?

Sometimes can is used for a future event, "Can you help me tomorrow"?
 
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