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Could have + past participle

The structure could have + past participle is used to say that somebody was capable of doing something, but did not try to do it.

  • He could have married anybody he wanted to. (But he didnít.)
  • I could have run the race if I had run a bit faster.
  • I could have won but I didnít go in for the race.

Could have + past participle can also be used to criticize people for not doing things.

  • You could have asked me before borrowing my car.
  • You could have helped him.

Couldnít have + past participle can be used to say that somebody would not have been able to do something even if they had tried to.

  • I couldnít have passed the test even if I had tried.
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