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Hello sir,

I want to ask you difference between the two sentences below .

1)I could have been watching television at home (but I'm wet and cold and tired from my walk in the mountains)

2) I could be watching television at home (but I'm wet and cold and tired from my walk in the mountains).


Kindly elaborate the difference between the two sentences.

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ritik1) I could have been watching television at home.
2) I could be watching television at home.

Assuming that you are talking about your present situation, (2) more directly refers to an alternative that could exist at this actual moment in time, while (1) seems to refer more to a hypothetical time. In practice, the difference may not be very important.

(1) can also be used about a past situation, which (2) cannot.

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ritik difference

1) is about a past situation.
2) is about a present situation.

1) [I'm should be I was.]
I could have been watching television (then) (but I wasn't).

Or, taken as the potential result of a condition:
If I had/hadn't ... (done something), I could have been watching TV (then or now).

2)
I could be watching television (now) (but I am not).

Or, taken as the potential result of a condition:
If I did/didn't ... (do something), I could be watching TV (now or in the future).

CJ

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Dear teacher,

You have been of a great help by answering my questions. Kindly give me 2 or 3 example s on

1) could + have + been + verb (ing)

2) could+ be + verb (ing).

3) could+ have + verb( past participle)

4) could + verb (v1) first form of verb.


Thanks in advance

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

Basic forms for any verb, shown with the verb take:

could take
could have taken
could be taking

Same basic forms for the verb be:

could be
could have been
could be being [almost never used]

You can replace could in the patterns above with will, would, should, may, might, or must. These are the modal verbs of English. For an overview of the basic modals, see Modals.

I don't think examples will help just now. You need to find a grammar book and read about modal verbs. They will have examples for you.

Here's an article about modal verbs. It has a section on can and could.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_modal_verbs

I'm sure you can find many more websites through Google, and videos through YouTube. If you prefer videos, you can try these:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=modal+verbs+in+english+grammar

CJ

CalifJim1) is about a past situation.
2) is about a present situation.

As I understand the original question, the situation is that someone is outdoors, wet and cold. If that person said "I could have been watching television at home", I must say that I would not understand this to refer to a past situation, but to a hypothetical alternative situation.

Edit: In fact, I think there may be different interpretations of the situation described. If in fact the person has returned home from the mountains, or the whole mountain episode is seen as being in the past, then I agree that (1) would refer to the past. If, however, it is seen as the present situation, then (1) would not refer to the past, in my understanding of it.

Thanks for insight.but

1)I could have been watching television at home (but I'm wet and cold and tired from my walk in the mountains)

So the first sentence can be used for the past situation as well as present situation.


2) I could be watching television at home (but I'm wet and cold and tired from my walk in the mountains)

The second sentence cannot be used for hypothesis. Then second sentence is used for what ?

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ritik1)I could have been watching television at home (but I'm wet and cold and tired from my walk in the mountains)
So the first sentence can be used for the past situation as well as present situation.

To me, if you are still out in the mountains, and the walk is seen as your present activity, then (1) refers to a hypothetical alternative present. If you have finished walking in the mountains, and the walk is seen as a completed past event, then (1) refers to the past. In my original reply I assumed the former, but now I'm unsure whether you meant this. CalifJim may have assumed the latter.

Thanks a lot

I am talking about about present situation . Cant I use " could be watching " for present situation ?

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