[Grammar] What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

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ajtokyo

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What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

I'm trying to help an English student with the following question:

Kate ( ) her way, for she has come here several times.

1. couldn't lose 2. could have lost 3. can't have lost 4. can be lost

The book states the CORRECT ANSWER is 3. "can't have lost", but the student has chosen 1. "couldn't lose". Is there a simple way to explain why the correct answer is 3? Honestly, they both seem like they could be correct to me, so I had a tough time explaining.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
 

bhaisahab

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Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

I'm trying to help an English student with the following question:

Kate ( ) her way, for she has come here several times.

1. couldn't lose 2. could have lost 3. can't have lost 4. can be lost

The book states the CORRECT ANSWER is 3. "can't have lost", but the student has chosen 1. "couldn't lose". Is there a simple way to explain why the correct answer is 3? Honestly, they both seem like they could be correct to me, so I had a tough time explaining.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

They are both possible.
 

Tdol

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Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

I presume they are trying to test can't have lost for an assumption, but they haven't done it very clearly.
 

ajtokyo

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Re: What's the difference between "couldn't lose" and "can't have lost"?

Thank you bhaisahab and Tdol. I appreciate your feedback!
 
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