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How a thing like this could have happened? ... and Jack was standing there, stunned and stupid, trying to understand how a thing like this could have happened. Source:The Shining Context: Jack lost his temper when he saw his son ruined part of his manuscript and in anger he broke his son's arm. But after that, he regretted doing so. Hi. Can we say "could have happened" and "could happen" interchangeably because this thing has just happened not long ago? Or in this case we should stick to "could have happened" because "breaking his son's arm" is an one-off event which has finished in the past? Thank you.
Nov 23, 2017 2:31 PM
Answers · 3
Yes you could use them interchangeably, but the author likely used "could have happened" to emphasized the gravity and severity of the event ( a man breaking his son's arm in anger ) BTW ( by the way) The shining is one of the few books I will not re-read because it scared me so much.
November 23, 2017
I think it is right because this is the writer retelling a story so that have to be causative form , have had + PP
November 23, 2017
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Chino Alpha
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, Japanese
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