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1. We lost the bet.
That can't be.
2. Is she the real owner of this place ?
That could be.
3. Will he return home tomorrow ?
That could be.
What is the meaning of "be" in the above sentences ? I think the meaning is something between "to exist" and "to happen". Is such usage acceptable in formal speech ?
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Comments  (Page 2) 
AnonymousAlso with shall and should...
Really?
These don't sound correct at all to my ear:

Debpriya De :

1. We lost the bet.
That should be.
2. Is she the real owner of this place ?
That should be.
3. Will he return home tomorrow ?
That should be.

CJ
Hi,
CalifJimIt was Rene Descartes who said, "I think; therefore, I am", but one day in 1650 he forgot to keep thinking and he died! CJ
Or he wanted to create the negative form of that statement, so he said, "I don't think; therefore, I am not" --
and, poof, the rest is history! Emotion: big smile

Regards
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