The first signs that Peter

Bassim

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I am wondering if my sentence is grammatically correct. I am not sure if i should say "could be noticed" or " could have been noticed".

The first signs that Peter would become a politician could be noticed while he was in a primary school. He would hold forth while other students stood around him listening patiently. They followed him whenever he went, like a flock of sheep.
 

Tdol

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Did anyone notice them?
 

Bassim

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Someone could have noticed them, for example, a school psychologist, a teacher or a school nurse. Honestly, I wrote these sentences as they appeared in my mind without thinking about who could have noticed them. I was mostly concerned with the grammar.
 

Tdol

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The grammar determines whether they were noticed or not for me.
 

Tdol

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Yeahbut, could have been would work better there in this sentence for me.
 

Roman55

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Could have been noticed = were there to be seen but weren't actually noticed.

Could be noticed
is fine but, as we can see from this discussion, appears to leave some room for misinterpretation.

If the signs were actually noticed, rather than being potentially noticeable, why not go with were noticed?
 
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