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English Mentors Tips

Jen’s English Tip – Could have and Would have





Do you know when to use could have and would have to talk about past events? Read on for some tips and advice.

Using ‘could have’

You use ‘could have’ to talk about possibilities in the past:

‘I could have married someone else but I chose you.’
‘We could have won the game if we had trained more.’
‘I could have passed the exam if I had studied hard.’

‘Could have’ is always followed by the past tense:

‘I could have written to him but I chose to call him instead.’
‘She could have stayed up late but she decided to go to bed early.’
‘He could have bought a jacket but he borrowed one from his friend.’


Using ‘would have’

‘Would have’ also refers to possibilities in the past. However it is more frequently used with ‘if’ clauses and expresses more certainty:

‘She would have bought two bicycles if she’d had enough money.’
‘I would have passed the test if I’d answered one more question right.’
‘He would have made the team if he had trained harder.’


Learning Thai With Jen

All of Jen’s students say she is the best Thai teacher they have had because she is patient with them and teaches at their pace with no pressure to learn quickly.

Jen teaches at her home in Chiang Rai and can be reached on 0814 726 644

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