Hello my friends,

I am fighting with a sentence here.

“Could the storm have caused the blackout?”

or

“Would the storm have caused the blackout?”

Or should I go in the present form

“Could the storm cause the blackout?”

or

“Would the storm cause the blackout?”

I think it should be have caused, but not sure if I should use could of would.

Thanks!

New Member06
wolf2k“Could the storm have caused the blackout?”

or

“Would the storm have caused the blackout?”
Either can be correct depending on the context.
wolf2k“Could the storm cause the blackout?”

or

“Would the storm cause the blackout?”
It's hard to see how these could be correct regardless of context.

If you want additional advice post your context.
Contributing Member1,732
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
I can only assume that the storm and the blackout actually occurred.
____________

[Could / Would] the storm cause the blackout?

This is similar to Was the storm [able / going] to cause the blackout?
This is a speculation at the time of the storm, asking if it had the potential to (could) or if it actually was going to (would) cause the blackout (that the speaker already knows happened).
_____________

[Could / Would] the storm have caused the blackout?

This is similar to Is it reasonable to believe that the storm [had the potential to cause / caused] the blackout?

This is a speculation at a time after both the storm and the blackout.

CJ
Veteran Member53,273
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Anonymous:
wolf2k“Could the storm have caused the blackout?”
or
“Would the storm have caused the blackout?”
Or should I go in the present form
“Could the storm cause the blackout?”
or
“Would the storm cause the blackout?”
I think it should be have caused, but not sure if I should use could of would.
"Could the storm have cause the blackout? " is my choice. The present tense form of this question is "can this storm cause a blackout?". Could/can is used for possiblities or probabilities.

The present tense of the second option is "will this storm cause a blackout?". Would/will speaks of certainty.

Source: http://www.grammercop.com/blog/?q=node/26
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