So it means 'She was not able to come', which entails that she did not come. In She couldn't have come , however, the could is an epistemic modal , which refers to possibility. This is Logical possibility, which is based on evidence and logical conclusions from it. Consequently, it means 'It was not possible that she came', which entails that she did not come. Note that both readings have the same entailment; this is not uncommon. Every modal auxiliary verb has at least two readings;. For example, "She couldn't come to John's birthday party last week".
In contrast, "She couldn't have come" suggests that it's impossible for her to have come, usually because of some conflicting reason.
For example, "She couldn't have come to John's birthday party last week, because she called me that morning to tell me her flight home was canceled". This construction is also often used to contradict someone. For example: "— Mary tells me Jane came to my birthday party?
I didn't see her. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. She couldn't come vs. What is the difference between "couldn't come" and "couldn't have come"? When we compare the below two example sentences: She couldn't come to the party. Is there any difference in their nuance and meaning? Jasper The two could 's do not mean the same thing.
Couldn’t Have (Been)
Every modal auxiliary verb has at least two readings; one reading is usually epistemic This may not be the place. This must be the place.
Some of you are just plain assholes. This family is amazing, accepting of everyone, and would adopt if they would've had funds to do so.
Can’t Have (Been)
Fuckin read people. She has endured cancer And her copper deficiency disease is debilitating to say the least. Little E is a miracle baby. Here for a wonderful purpose, I'm sure.
Is It 'Could' or 'Couldn't Care Less'? | Merriam-Webster
Congratulations on this little Jedi The force is definitely strong with this one. Martin, Mary and the comment upvoters, you're so mean! She must have had her reasons. My best wishes for this kid, his mother and their family. Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app.
"Could Care Less" Versus "Couldn't Care Less"
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