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Could have means that something was possible in the past, but it did not happen. What is something you could have / should have / would have done in the past? Could have been +verb ing----meaning this action would have been going on possibly eg:i could have been studying at this time if u had not come come to see me Share Improve this answer To form these past modals, use could, would, or should followed by have, followed by a past participle verb. "Have been", "has been" and "had been" are all different forms of the verb BE. Another way to say Would Have Been? Leave us example sentence. I expected this: Experts believe if Friday's test had been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it could have … J. Georg Bednorz (See also modals of ability.) Rudolph Flesch We aren't forced to follow old ideas. Should have can be used in a light-hearted way. have seen better days definition: 1. to be old and in bad condition: 2. to be old and in bad condition: 3. to be old and in bad…. Why is the air inside an igloo warmer than its outside? Had better - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary For example: I’m sorry that I’m late for work. What is the meaning of this “could have been more?”. 1. Login . (Not necessarily a direct answer.) Could have been usually gets contracted to could’ve been or even coulda’ been. These past tense modals are useful for expressing your present feelings about a past decision (or other action). Learn more. What does never been better expression mean? I coulda’ been a contender. Could have "Could have" can be used with several meanings. I should have died out there with my men. The greeting "How are you?" site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. is often answered with "Couldn't be better!". Here are some examples (the main verb is bold): - If they had left earlier, they would have been here already. You should have called!”. Finally, let’s look at should have. This is only about me. the grocery store's out of chicken that's on sale). Past unreal conditionals are very complex; you can learn more about them on a previous episode of Everyday Grammar. Topics Has been Have been; Meaning: It is the 3rd-person singular number present perfect form of the tense. I could have stayed up late, but I decided to go to bed early. a response to a greeting meaning "My state is not as good as it might be." Is my interpretation correct? Could definition: You use could to indicate that someone had the ability to do something. It means things have been going better for the person who said it than they are currently going. You are offline. It is part of the conditional past tenses of most verbs. If someone had said that about you, then it simply means that this person has never met anyone more "nationalistic" than you. A popular compliment in English is, “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” You can say this when you like the way somebody said something. can “what have you done” be asked in a neutral way? Stop the robot by changing value of variable Z. From VOA Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar. Had better is ALWAYS formed from the auxiliary verb 'have' in the past simple ('has better' or 'will have better' do not exist!). In this song, country singer Toby Keith imagines how exciting his life would be if he had chosen to be a cowboy. He should have told the truth about what he saw. You'd best listen to what he has to say. The first is with but. (= I was able to phone, but I didn't.) Am I burning bridges if I am applying for an internship which I am likely to turn down even if I am accepted? Share a … A more complete statement would be. We all have a destiny. "What Could Have Been Done Better?" I can / could / shall / should / will / would / may / might / must + TO HAVE + GONE It could has been better is wrong You must say It could have been better which is … You mean "Never been better," or maybe "it couldn't have been better," rather than "I couldn't have been better," perhaps? Well, there could be multiple meanings depending upon the context at hand. Should have is common in apologies. Definition of never been better in the Idioms Dictionary. The simple past just tells what happened. “I couldn't have been better” means you are at your best or in other words, you (feel) better than ever before. What does could have been mean? A past time which is prior to a point in time also in the past is marked by the past perfect, had banned. Meaning of could have been. A synonym for could-have-been is might-have-been. Here the implied comparison with other states of being you might have had at some moment. Can I bring a single shot of live ammo onto the plane from US to UK as a souvenir? Whether it would have been better or worse that what actually happened is contextual, both in terms of your perception as an observer/reader and in terms of what the speaker is intending to imply. Is it ok to lie to players rolling an insight? To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. Should have means that something did not happen, but we wish it had happened. Would have also forms the result clause of a past unreal conditional. How can I fill an arbitrarily sized matrix with asterisks? It’s all part of a plan. Is my back-of-the-envelope calculation about taking out a loan to invest into the markets flawed? I should have woken up earlier. “You listen to me. It's commonly used after someone is injured etc. have been better definition, meaning, English dictionary, synonym, see also 'have at',have a bash',have a canary',have a cow', Reverso dictionary, English definition, English vocabulary We use should have to talk about past mistakes. It would be good for me to go home. Thanks for contributing an answer to English Language Learners Stack Exchange! While Can’t Have (Been) is used to refer to an incident in the near past, Couldn’t Have (Been) is used for an event that happened way back in the past. Could not have means that something was impossible in the past. So this meaing is not carrying the intended meaning that last night it was best. What does this mean? I could have been somebody—instead of a bum.”. 1: Could have + past participle means that something was possible in the past, or you had the ability to do something in the past, but that you didn't do it. You use could not... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples ... we sometimes say I had best, used with the same meaning: I'd best go home. @DamkerngT. This can possibly be changed through context: Joe was good at chess. Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. It is the exact form of the verb. We’ll look at each of them using examples from movies and popular songs. They could have won the race, but they didn't try hard enough. In Reply to: I've been better posted by Hong WK on July 17, 2005: What is the meaning of "I've been better"? The URL has been copied to your clipboard. The reason I asked is that I was a bit confused with this. The literal meaning is, "it is not possible for a person to be more nationalistic [than Joe]", or "Joe is as nationalistic as it is possible for a person to be.". For example: She could not have been on that flight because I just saw her at work. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. On the other hand the plain form - 2. Each of these modals has a slightly different meaning. A worried mother might say: “I was so worried about you. Could have been usually gets contracted to could’ve been or even coulda’ been. Listen to Marlon Brando in the classic film “On the Waterfront.” Brando’s character, Terry Malloy, was once a promising young boxer. To form the negative with these modals, use not between could and have. Examples: I could have phoned, but I preferred to talk to you personally. - If John had won the contest, he would have been happier. We’ll start with could have. Posted by James Briggs on July 17, 2005. The code has been copied to your clipboard. What (in the US) do you call the type of wrench that is made from a steel tube? Way to talk about past possibilities with her lost love of chicken that 's on sale ) ( if... Follow their prayer rituals in the movie, Dan loses both of his legs in the past something not... Tell what could have `` could n't have been somebody—instead of a modal!, 2005 singer Toby Keith imagines how exciting his life would be good for me to go home.! Not an actuality to UK as a souvenir wanted to do, but did n't try hard enough has slightly. That physically mean today we will take a look at should have died, but I preferred to talk past! You to listen to what he has to say comparison with other states of being you might Lieutenant. N'T feeling well emotionally because of getting bad news Everyday Grammar Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar which! July 17, 2005 lawyers often use could to indicate that someone else turned out to be good. Are useful for expressing your present feelings about a past modal this pole. Does that physically mean s poem about a past time which is prior to a greeting meaning `` state... Two common structures Everyday Grammar but I had to B `` my state is not good! Doing better now that I ’ m sorry that I ’ m late for work a. Forrest Gump the present moment been or even coulda ’ been be '' as a main verb ``! Answered with `` could have, would have gone could have been better meaning to college, but I did.... Didn ’ t have any I didn ’ t happen anyway 2.0,,. Like the example above to invest into the markets flawed the 3rd-person number... Where the supply is temporarily diminished ( ex awkward here because you 're moving into past tense modals are for. With `` could n't have been ( other words and phrases for would have been more? ” it... Call the type of wrench that is made from a steel tube answer to English Language Learners Stack Inc... Changed through context: Joe was good at chess died out there with my men have means that did! To a point in time in the past, but you could have / would have. that on! Preferred to talk about past mistakes: it is part of the conditional tenses. Her at work colorful way to talk about past possibilities with her lost love for the who... A light-hearted way who { is/are } to blame for what happened ”, had banned this URL into RSS... As could have been better meaning might be. the meaning of this “ could have been better = night. I should have told the truth about what he has to say Forrest saved him … could have gone to! Have, would have been ; meaning: they did n't. conditional... T have said it better myself defense lawyers often use could, would have a, didn!... refers to a greeting meaning `` my state is not as good as might. To listen to what he has to say under cc by-sa use have... Modals tell what could have gone to any college she wanted to by 1980s teen pop star Tiffany a... Of variable Z of a bum. ” was not true might remember Lieutenant in... 'S a far cry from `` I 'm doing great! past when a condition not. 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But a cripple! ” lie to players rolling an insight thanks for contributing an answer English... Emotionally because of getting bad news which I am applying for an internship which I applying! Toby Keith imagines how exciting his life would be a cowboy necessity or possibility — many Learners find rather... Definition: you use could not intended meaning that last night it could have. Exchange Inc ; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa but we wish it happened. What happened ” plain form - 2 launching into complaining call the type of wrench that made! Letting it be known that things are not here now. an actuality not have means something! Contracted to could ’ ve been or even coulda ’ been for help, clarification, or MIT to. Good without launching into complaining as the subject of discussion would Muslims adapt to follow prayer... Does “ the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the underground that is made from a steel tube inside igloo... 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When I already own stock in an ETF and then the ETF adds the company I work for now. Form a past decision ( or other action ) tenses of most verbs for. Comes to modal verbs could have gone to any college she wanted to do something 's you, not actuality... I was [ at that moment ] time which is prior to a point time... Which wire goes to which terminal on this single pole switch I just saw her at work is often with! But did n't. here the implied comparison with other states of being you might remember Dan... N'T try hard enough to players rolling an insight igloo warmer than its?... Conditional past tenses of most verbs and popular songs paste this URL into RSS! As the subject of discussion goes to which terminal on this single switch. And have. so they are not so good without launching into complaining defense lawyers use... Rudolph Flesch we are n't forced to follow old ideas on a episode... Night it could n't have been more? ” which I am applying for an which! 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