il n'a pas pu aller bien loin

lobelia.ophrys

Senior Member
French
Hello everybody,

I'm writing a screenplay and I have a huge hesitation about the sentence "Il n'a pas pu aller bien loin" in the context that there are two people but one is missing. And the other says, thoughtful "Il n'a pas pu aller bien loin".

Could it be: "He couldn't go very far"???

Thank you in advance!
 
  • French skunk

    Member
    English - US
    Oh no, just like in all the Westerns, "He couldn't have gone very far!" Unless the language isn't the highest register, in which case "He couldn't have got very far!" Hope this helps.
     

    lobelia.ophrys

    Senior Member
    French
    Yes, like in the Westerns actually (though my screenplay isn't a western at all, it's a fantasy film ;-)).

    Thank you very much for your help!!! ^_^
     

    broglet

    Senior Member
    English - England
    in the UK we stopped using gotten several hundred years ago - to an English ear it sounds grotesque - sorry
     

    Assurancetourix

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Yes we've entirely forgotten it.

    BTW I don't think there's anything wrong with he couldn't have got very far and wouldn't regard it as low-register.

    EDIT: sorry that was in response to post 7. It's not a Western, it's a fantasy film - see post 4
     

    guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    If the guy is thinking out loud in the present, He can't have got/gone very far. - so let's begin the search close to here.
    American "gotten" is cute - sounds like really creative grammar!
    English is ill-gotten gains - a passive participle used as an adjective = money/goods that have been gotten (acquired) in an illegal manner.
    He can't have gotten very far is OK by me.
    Guillaume
     
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