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Hello, I'm a non-native speaker of English. I came across this grammar question:

We all knew it ___________ Ed's fault, but no one wanted to blame such a poor boy for that.

(A) could have been
(B) can't be
(C) should have been
(D) may not have been

The correct answer is A, but I think C is correct as well.

Some of the people I asked said C was even better than A.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!
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Hi,

A and C are equally good answers.

Clive
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I will add that "should have been" indicates people know it is likely to be his fault. "Could have been" carries less certainty.
AnonymousWe all knew it __ Ed's fault, but no one wanted to blame such a poor boy for that.
(A) could have been
(B) can't be
(C) should have been
(D) may not have been
I began to wonder about the author's syntactic sense. We all knew - suggests certainty. Answer A - "could have been" expressed uncertainty", and if C is also a possible answer, they both suggest affirmation of possibility. B and D are counter-affirmative which makes no logical sense with the dependent clause. Maybe I am not reading it right....