Could have + V3

Hello everybody! :smiley:
It’s my first post here.
I have a question about the “could have + v3” construction. As I know, it means that somebody could do something, but he didn’t do it:

Meaning he had real chances to finish first but finished second (for instance).
Now John can’t return to that summer and finish first. It’s unreal.
But let’s say we have another situation:

It’s his desire not to participate and he is 100% sure that he will not participate.
But the marathon hasn’t started yet and in fact John still has a possibility to participate.
Is it right to use “could have participated” here?
It’s not unreal but very close to it.

Hi MyFriend,

You would probably say “I could participate in the upcoming marathon but I don’t want to”.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Meat packing[YSaerTTEW443543]

Thank you, Torsten!
To make things clear: my variant is grammatically incorrect and can’t be used or it’s just not recommended?

Hi MyFriend,

Your sentence would contain a contradiction: ‘could have participated’ clearly refers to an event in the past while ‘upcoming marathon’ is an event in the future so yes, I would classify such a construction as incorrect.[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: Tiling[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten
How would you classify the meaning and usage in this sentence:
The name of the movie could have gone crazy.

Is that a commonly used expression in your neck of the woods? :roll: :wink:

Hi,

Sorry, the connection is lost on me!

Alan

.
Then there must be quite a bit lost on you some times, Alan. :wink:

To be honest, though, the fact that you posted something here, then deleted it, and then posted again after you posted in the head vs brain thread leads me to believe that you know exactly why I asked that question. :wink:
.

Amy, what do your questions and comments have to do with the initial question of this thread?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: The bookshop[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten

I’m trying to find out whether you think a fixed expression (‘go crazy’) sounds natural to you with the verb structures mentioned here.

Do you think that people might say ‘The name of the movie could have gone crazy’ to talk about the chances of the movie’s title going crazy in the past?

Do you think that people might say ‘The name of the movie could go crazy’ to talk about the possibility of the movie’s title going crazy in the future?

If not, why not?
.

Thanks everybody!

Hi Amy,

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who can distinguish between the two phrases “I’m out of my head” and “it’s gone out of my head”. And if somebody does want to know the difference between both expressions they will find the answer on our forum thanks to Ms Google. After all, we have discussed this at length in the it’s gone out of my head thread so why bring it up again and confuse our new user? What does this have to do with the conditionals?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: The shoe shop[YSaerTTEW443543]

Did it really escape your notice that it was not Amy who brought it up again today? :wink:

Why not just fix the test so as not to confuse your users? :wink:
.

For MFIAG’s original sentence:

I could have participated in the upcoming marathon but I didn’t want to.

=> I think it is quite possible because the marathon may not take place yet, but the deadline for registering to take part in it has been over, and so, we can still say “could have participated…” However I just wonder what the difference is between the 2 usages “I could have participated in the upcoming marathon but I didn’t want to” and “I could participate in the upcoming marathon but I didn’t want to”

Please clarify for me
Many thanks
Nessie

Hi Nessie,

Thanks for bringing the original topic back.

I could have participated in the upcoming marathon but I didn’t want to I think this is now agreed as meaning: It would have been possible for me to participate but I had no wish to. ‘Participate’ in that case probably suggests filling up forms/registering etc. the second one: I could participate in the upcoming marathon but I didn’t want to suggests: ‘It would be possible for me to participate’ and then ‘I didn’t want to’ is left on its own because of the past tense, which seems to clash both with the idea of ‘would be possible’ and ‘future marathon’. In that case I believe it would be useful to explain more fully the past idea ‘didn’t want to’ by mentioning ‘didn’t want to fill up the forms/register etc’.

Hope that helps.

Alan

Many thanks for your help, Alan. However I think I still feel equivocal…

Actually I mean that the registering date isn’t over yet. And technically it’s still possible to participate in the marathon. What I want to know is whether someone’s 100% assurance in not doing something makes this event unreal. So, I repeat, technically it’s still possible to participate in the marathon, but he is so sure that he won’t participate that he considers the upcoming marathon as the finished one (and for him it’d really ended before it actually began).

Hi,

This is becoming very complicated. To my simple mind it reads: This would have been possible but it didn’t happen at decision time.

Alan

Hic, I’m dumb now!!! (+_+)