What you are saying can't/couldn't be true.

Discussion in '英語勉強フォーラム - Learning English' started by hirashin, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. hirashin

    hirashin Sempai
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    Dear native English speakers,
    Do both the sentences sound natural? If so, what's the difference?
    (a) What you are saying can't be true.
    (b) What you are saying couldn't be true.

    Hirashin
     
  2. mdchachi

    mdchachi Moderator
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    Both sound natural (textbook English) and no difference in meaning to me.
     
  3. Buntaro

    Buntaro 運動不足

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    #3 Buntaro, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    Hirashin,

    Both sentences are correct. The meanings are different. The use of "couldn't" is subjunctive mood (仮定法). Are you familiar with the uses of subjunctive mood? For example, what is the difference between:

    (c) If I go to Hawaii, how much will it cost?
    (d) If I went to Hawaii, how much would it cost?
     

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