could/could have/can have

Drizzlehead

Member
Polish
Yes, I also have difficulities with this. What is the best way to distinguish proper use of those 3 (in past forms of course) in the thread-title? I know it has something to do with ability, possibility and so on as so forth...

Help, please.
 
  • Becky85

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Drizzlehead said:
    Yes, I also have difficulities with this. What is the best way to distinguish proper use of those 3 (in past forms of course) in the thread-title? I know it has something to do with ability, possibility and so on as so forth...

    Help, please.

    I'm not entirely sure what you're asking but I'll have a go at a response!

    COULD = conditional ---> "if I was able to"
    - I would go to the football match if I could, but I have too much work to do so I can't.
    - If I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing.
    - I was hoping to find a blue dress in the shop, but I could only find a black dress.

    COULD HAVE = "I didn't do it, but I would have been able to if I'd wanted"
    - I was so angry with him I could have killed him! (Figurative!)
    - I could have gone to any university, but I chose this one.
    - The holiday was so good, I could have stayed there all year!

    CAN HAVE = "will be able to" ---> not often used in this form, usually conjugated or the word order is changed or it is asked in a question e.g.
    - Can I have a chocolate please?
    - You can have one if you ask nicely.
    - My mum says I can have one of hers instead.

    Hope that helps to clarify things a bit!
    Becky.
     
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