The negative of 'could'

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Minty.zmk

Member
Chinese
Hi everyone ,
I want to know the difference between the following sentences.
A:Could not you come?
B:Could you not come?

Thanks a lot!
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Option (A) doesn't work as it stands, but it does if you contract it to "Couldn't you come?"

    Option (B) is fine. :)
     

    Minty.zmk

    Member
    Chinese
    If option A turns to'Couldn't you come',Are the meanings between the two sentences the same?
    Thank you again!
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    What do you want this to mean? "Couldn't you come?" has at least two meanings, depending on context and emphasis. "Could you not come?" has two meanings, which are almost directly contrary to each other. Given appropriate context and as part of a longer piece of text, "Could not you come?" is possible.
     
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