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Hazem
is this explanation correct?

I would say that: “Yesterday I couldn’t make it” is precisely that, you didn’t make it.

On the other hand: “Yesterday I couldn’t have made it” is precisely the contrary, it says that by logic you shouldn’t have made it, but you did.

Both are correct but have a different meaning.

Apr 6, 2019 5:38 PM
Comments · 12

@Hazam

Hazam said - On the other hand: “Yesterday I couldn’t have made it” is precisely the contrary, it says that by logic you shouldn’t have made it, but you did.

Your statement "but you did" is incorrect.  Did you get this from a book?  If so, the book is wrong.


More information here:

https://www.ef.com/ca/english-resources/english-grammar/conditional/


April 10, 2019

"Yesterday I couldn't make it" means you were not able to go.

Example:  You were invited to an event but you couldn't make it, that is, you wanted to go but it turned out to be impossible.



"Yesterday I couldn't have made it" means that you didn't try, and that it would have been impossible even if you had tried. 

Example:  You were invited to an event but you knew you likely would not be able to get there on time, so you did not plan to go.  Later a friend meets you and asks you why you chose not to go.  You say, "I would have loved to go, but I knew I couldn't have made it because of the traffic, so I chose to do something else instead."


The one you wrote, that by logic you shouldn't have made it, but you did, is like this: 

"Yesterday, theoretically, I shouldn't have made it, but work ended early and I was able to go."


I hope this helps.


April 6, 2019

Hazem:

I would really like to know what the passage says. It’s possible that the passage uses it as an expression of disbelief. But this usage isn’t possible when you’re talking about yourself.

”I got straight A’s in my school report.”

”But you couldn’t have! That’s impossible!”

That’s the only way I can think of in which it can be used for a positive outcome.

April 10, 2019

Hi Hazem, I don't understand your last comment.  Can you word it differently?

April 6, 2019

“Did you go to the party yesterday?”

“I didn’t know there was a party yesterday. But even if I knew about it, I couldn’t have made it, because I was busy.”

April 6, 2019
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Hazem
Language Skills
Arabic, English
Learning Language
English