dolco
Help with "couldn't have been prevented" please. "The flood couldn't have been prevented" means they weren't able to prevent it. "That couldn't have been done without you" means they were able to do it. Even though they both have [could + not + have + PP], why does this discrepancy happen? I think the normal usages are the second one because we use "You shouldn't have done that" meaning that they actually did it. 1.The first example, is it just an exceptional idiom? 2.Is there any of this kind of discrepancy on another modals, such as 'would', 'should', etc?
Jun 26, 2019 10:36 AM
Answers · 3
"The flood couldn't have been prevented" means they weren't able to prevent it. Correct "That couldn't have been done without you" means they were NOT able to do it, without the other person (the second you/they/them person). The second sentence = they were able to do it but only with the second persons help/assistance. their is no discrepancy you have just misunderstood. "you shouldn't have done that" = they the other person should NOT HAVE DONE that. "you should have done that" = they the other person should have done that. "shouldn't" = same as "should NOT have"
June 26, 2019
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June 26, 2019
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