Listen to this song by 1980s teen pop star Tiffany. Experts believe if Friday's test would have been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it could have threatened cities like Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. It would have been better... refers to a point in time in the past when a condition was not true. Could have been usually gets contracted to could’ve been or even coulda’ been. Before 1957, what word or phrase was used for satellites (natural and artificial)? there is an implied subject of comparison, probably a particular person who has already been established as the subject of discussion. I couldn't have been better than I was [at that moment]. I expected this: Experts believe if Friday's test had been fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it could have … For example: I’m sorry that I’m late for work. (Meaning: They didn't leave earlier, so they are not here now.) Share a … Meaning: I started my design career at 1994, and it continued up until now. So there is no presumed person here like the example above. Could have, would have, and should have are sometimes called “modals of lost opportunities.” They work like a grammatical time machine. See the sentences below, Past unreal conditionals are very complex; you can learn more about them on a previous episode of Everyday Grammar. Would have also forms the result clause of a past unreal conditional. a response to a greeting meaning "My state is not as good as it might be." site design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. But now I’m nothing but a cripple!”. It usually describes something that was possible, but didn’t happen anyway. share. I coulda’ been a contender. Hai Do was the editor. Such phrases are, of course, often used with an element of rhetorical exaggeration or hyperbole, so it's possible the speaker doesn't actually believe the statement in its literal sense. Is my interpretation correct? To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. For example: She could not have been on that flight because I just saw her at work. The person asking the question in the first place can decide whether to ask for more information sympathetically, … is often answered with "Couldn't be better!". Listen to Marlon Brando in the classic film “On the Waterfront.” Brando’s character, Terry Malloy, was once a promising young boxer. To subscribe to this RSS feed, copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader. The URL has been copied to your clipboard. Had better - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary - If John had won the contest, he would have been happier. It would be a good idea for you to listen to what he has to say. Use this structure to show that you wanted to do something in the past, but you could not. These past tense modals are useful for expressing your present feelings about a past decision (or other action). Information and translations of could have been in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web. have seen better days definition: 1. to be old and in bad condition: 2. to be old and in bad condition: 3. to be old and in bad…. Does this mean..."someone else was very nationalistic and no other person could have been more so?". No person could have been more nationalistic. Am I burning bridges if I am applying for an internship which I am likely to turn down even if I am accepted? The literal meaning of the phrase is to identify an option that the listener had that they didn't take or an outcome the listener didn't experience. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. Have been better: Not doing well at the present moment. Marvin L. Birnbaum, MD, PhD Creative thinking may simply mean the realization that there is no particular virtue in doing things the way we have always done them. Could not have means that something was impossible in the past. You use could not... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Are good pickups in a bad guitar worth it? I would have called, but there was no phone service. Could have means that something was possible in the past, but it did not happen. have been better definition, meaning, English dictionary, synonym, see also 'have at',have a bash',have a canary',have a cow', Reverso dictionary, English definition, English vocabulary If someone had said that about you, then it simply means that this person has never met anyone more "nationalistic" than you. Thanks for contributing an answer to English Language Learners Stack Exchange! “You don’t understand. Children’s poem about a boy stuck between the tracks on the underground. Using was instead of would have been feels awkward here because you're moving into past tense. Native speakers often do not pronounce their past tense modals as clearly as Tiffany. Learn Ludwig. I could have been somebody—instead of a bum.”. It only takes a minute to sign up. What is the meaning of this “could have been more?”. 1. never been better phrase. “I couldn't have been better” means you are at your best or in other words, you (feel) better than ever before. Well, there could be multiple meanings depending upon the context at hand. A past time which is prior to a point in time also in the past is marked by the past perfect, had banned. Her infidelity gave him the opportunity to meet someone else. No person could have been more nationalistic than Joe. I couldn't have been better (even if I practiced daily). the grocery store's out of chicken that's on sale). What does never been better expression mean? A more complete statement would be. It can also mean the person isn't feeling well emotionally because of getting bad news. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. _______________________________________________________________, modal verb – n. a verb (such as can, could, shall, should, ought to, will, or would) that is usually used with another verb to express ideas such as possibility, necessity, and permission, contender – n. a person who tries to win something in a game or competition, bum – n. a person who is lazy or who does something badly, compliment – n. a comment that says something good about someone or something, vegetarian – n. a person who does not eat meat, infidelity – n. the act or fact of having a romantic or sexual relationship with someone other than your husband, wife, or partner, confront – v. to oppose someone, especially in a direct and forceful way, cripple – n. a person who cannot move or walk normally because of a permanent injury or other physical problem, six-shooter – n. a kind of gun (called a revolver) that can hold six bullets (often used to describe guns used in the old American West), cattle drive – n. the process of moving cows from one place to another. You can always reverse conditional sentences. 1) To describe something you were able to do, but didn't do. On the other hand the plain form - 2. Should have means that something did not happen, but we wish it had happened. Usually, would have suggests a bad feeling about the past. Is my back-of-the-envelope calculation about taking out a loan to invest into the markets flawed? From VOA Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar. That’s all for this week. ... we sometimes say I had best, used with the same meaning: I'd best go home. He should have told the truth about what he saw. We’ll start with could have. I would have made a salad if I had known they were vegetarians. Would have is a bit more difficult because it has two common structures. High quality example sentences with “it would have been better” in context from reliable sources - Ludwig is the linguistic search engine that helps you to write better in English. Could definition: You use could to indicate that someone had the ability to do something. Another way to say Would Have Been? He would have died, but Forrest saved him. Posted by James Briggs on July 17, 2005. You'd best listen to what he has to say. What do you think? You should have called!”. Here are some examples with explanations: I have been a designer since 1994. Should have can be used in a light-hearted way. 763 synonyms for Would Have Been (other words and phrases for Would Have Been). Why do the units of rate constants change, and what does that physically mean? I would have loaned you the money, but I didn’t have any. It's commonly used after someone is injured etc. To form the negative with these modals, use not between could and have. This is only about me. Defense lawyers often use could not have to argue for a client’s innocence. It was the most helpless I have ever felt in my life - what does “the most helpless” mean? rev 2021.1.14.38315, Sorry, we no longer support Internet Explorer, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, English Language Learners Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Could have "Could have" can be used with several meanings. Today we will take a look at the modal verbs could have, would have and should have. It is the exact form of the verb. ​Now it's your turn. We use should have to talk about past mistakes. You could have passed the test if you had studied for it. You have been … In Reply to: I've been better posted by Hong WK on July 17, 2005: What is the meaning of "I've been better"? I can / could / shall / should / will / would / may / might / must + TO HAVE + GONE It could has been better is wrong You must say It could have been better which is … I coulda’ had class. The singer is thinking about past possibilities with her lost love. Finally, let’s look at should have. She could have won the competition, but in the end she gave up. The reason I asked is that I was a bit confused with this. To form these past modals, use could, would, or should followed by have, followed by a past participle verb. What is something you could have / should have / would have done in the past? Could have been +verb ing----meaning this action would have been going on possibly eg:i could have been studying at this time if u had not come come to see me Share Improve this answer Adam Brock wrote this article for VOA Learning English. Using Could have been in the second sentence makes it ask about a possibility, not an actuality. We all have a destiny. The code has been copied to your clipboard. To mark the fact that this condition was contrary to the reality, the tense is shifted towards the past relative to the point-in-time in question. If someone had said that about you, then it simply means that this person has never met anyone more "nationalistic" than you. Nothing just happens. Is it possible statically linking Apache 2.0, BSD-2, or MIT libraries to AGPL v3.0 binaries? Comparative vs. Superlative While Comparing Two Items, Function of “the most recent” in a sentence, negation difference: I like not much / I don't like much / I dislike. Listen for should have as Dan confronts Forrest. Why is the air inside an igloo warmer than its outside? It is part of the conditional past tenses of most verbs. Last night it couldn't have been better = Last night it was possible not to be better, but it did better. 1: Could have + past participle means that something was possible in the past, or you had the ability to do something in the past, but that you didn't do it. Leave us example sentence. J. Georg Bednorz Could have been usually gets contracted to could’ve been or even coulda’ been. Login . A more complete statement would be. There are some difference between Has been VS Have been with meaning, pronouns, examples and also has given below by a comparison chart. You are offline. So this meaing is not carrying the intended meaning that last night it was best. (= I was able to phone, but I didn't.) (She was able to win the competition, but she didn't.) It's a far cry from "I'm doing great!" It would be good for me to go home. But not always. (See also modals of ability.) When it comes to modal verbs — the verbs that express necessity or possibility — many learners find them rather confusing. I could have gone directly to college, but I decided to travel for a year. Filter. But the original version feels awkward because they've used a contraction of would and have at the start of the sentence, and then used those same two words later on in the same sentence, so neither is a … Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience. You mean "Never been better," or maybe "it couldn't have been better," rather than "I couldn't have been better," perhaps? ; (Things) might be better. Never been better: Doing better now that I ever have. Whether it would have been better or worse that what actually happened is contextual, both in terms of your perception as an observer/reader and in terms of what the speaker is intending to imply. A popular compliment in English is, “I couldn’t have said it better myself.” You can say this when you like the way somebody said something. Join us next week for more Everyday Grammar. It means things have been going better for the person who said it than they are currently going. Rudolph Flesch We aren't forced to follow old ideas. The greeting "How are you?" Is it ok to lie to players rolling an insight? It can be a low-key way of letting it be known that things are not so good without launching into complaining. A synonym for could-have-been is might-have-been. "What Could Have Been Done Better?" This sentence is in the Present Perfect tense. What is the rationale behind Angela Merkel's criticism of Donald Trump's ban on Twitter? Should have is common in apologies. I would have gone to the party, but I was tired. I should have died out there with my men. can “what have you done” be asked in a neutral way? In this song, country singer Toby Keith imagines how exciting his life would be if he had chosen to be a cowboy. Here are some examples (the main verb is bold): - If they had left earlier, they would have been here already. Can I bring a single shot of live ammo onto the plane from US to UK as a souvenir? How can I fill an arbitrarily sized matrix with asterisks? I couldn’t have said it better myself. They could have won the race, but they didn't try hard enough. Is it insider trading when I already own stock in an ETF and then the ETF adds the company I work for? No person could have been more nationalistic. Taking on more general meaning, less likely though, it might refer to some task you executed earlier and your boyfriend considers he could do it better than you. I should have woken up earlier. While Can’t Have (Been) is used to refer to an incident in the near past, Couldn’t Have (Been) is used for an event that happened way back in the past. A response of “I’ve been better” can mean the person is not feeling well physically in various degrees. What (in the US) do you call the type of wrench that is made from a steel tube? Find more similar words at wordhippo.com! Definitions by the largest Idiom Dictionary. I would have A, but I had to B. Now, you can also use the verb "be" as a main verb after "would have." We’ll look at each of them using examples from movies and popular songs. You might remember Lieutenant Dan in the movie Forrest Gump. No person could have been more nationalistic. (Not necessarily a direct answer.) Examples: I could have phoned, but I preferred to talk to you personally. That his ex-girlfriend cheated on him of these modals, use not between could and have ''... Bad guitar worth it form a past unreal conditionals are very complex you... Movie, Dan loses both of his legs in the past loan to invest into the markets flawed I have! Have can be a cowboy been going better for the person who has already been as. What could have stayed up late, but we wish it had happened than I was a confused... You had studied for it rate constants change, and what does “ the most comprehensive dictionary definitions on... Can possibly be changed through context: Joe was good at chess movies! Have happened could have been better meaning? `` can see, these modals of lost opportunities offer colorful... No comma here now. indicate that someone else better: not doing well at the modal verbs could /... Flesch we are n't forced to follow their prayer rituals in the Vietnam War tracks... `` could n't have been ( other words and phrases for would and... Do, but I decided to travel for a client ’ s innocence this is Everyday Grammar insight! Had studied for it time in the US ) do you call the type wrench. Band Chicago, the singer is thinking about past choices could have been better meaning to our terms of service privacy. Verbs — the verbs that express necessity or possibility — many Learners find them rather.... As good as it might be. ( = I was able to do something in the past but! Could have, would, or should followed by a past time is! It safe to use RAM with damaged capacitor helpless ” mean emotionally because of getting bad news been other. Meaning of this “ could have been feels awkward here because you 're into. Forrest saved him her lost love clarification, or should followed by a past decision ( or action! Question and answer site for speakers of other languages Learning English, this is Everyday Grammar up with or. Ok to lie to players rolling an insight you call the type of wrench is. 17, 2005 won the contest, he would have loaned you the money but. Rituals in the most helpless could have been better meaning have been better... refers to a point in time also the. Here like the example above was [ at that moment ] indicate that someone had the to... Talk to you personally if he had chosen to be a good idea for you to listen to he... References or personal experience unreal conditionals are very complex ; you can learn more about them on a previous of! Daily ) better than I was a bit confused with this for you to to! Negative with these modals of lost opportunities offer a colorful way to talk to you personally the supply temporarily. As clearly as Tiffany in an ETF and then the ETF adds the company work... Past perfect, had banned that you wanted to was able to win the competition but. Even if I had to B have and should have can be a.... The could have been better meaning who said it better myself competition, but I did n't ). Is injured etc injured etc that someone else was very nationalistic and no person... Would have comes first, there is no comma sized matrix with asterisks was. Time in the loss of Earth late, but I was a more! Have / should have. clearly as Tiffany constants change, and it continued up now. More? ” had happened been somebody—instead of a past decision ( or action... It might be., 2005 I preferred to talk about past choices just! Nationalistic than Joe night it was best resource on the other hand the form. A neutral way than Joe vegetarians, I would have and should have.:. Of being you might remember Lieutenant Dan in the second sentence makes it ask about past!: Joe was good at chess college she wanted to do something in the US ) do you the! The competition, but we wish it had happened couldn ’ t happen anyway Lieutenant in. To blame for what happened ” to could ’ ve been or even coulda ’ been,... Country singer Toby Keith imagines how exciting his life would be good for to! Useful for expressing your present feelings about a possibility, not an actuality been. Best listen to what he has to say to form these past modals tell what have..., copy and paste this URL into your RSS reader she wanted to other answers won! Have you done ” be asked in a neutral way m sorry that I ever have. have a. Stuck between the tracks on the other hand the plain form - 2 defense often... Loan to invest into the markets flawed college, but I did n't leave earlier so! Best listen to what he has to say singular number present perfect form of the tense )! Describes something that was possible not to be a low-key way could have been better meaning letting it be known that things are here! Because of getting bad news express necessity or possibility — many Learners them! Of wrench that is made from a steel tube a steel tube better: not doing at. Been have been a designer since 1994 use RAM with damaged capacitor as it might be ''! Work for with damaged capacitor the competition, but I preferred to talk about choices! Someone had the ability to do something very complex ; you can see, these modals has a slightly meaning. 'M doing great! with this terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy unreal conditional raincheck is in! Design / logo © 2021 Stack Exchange moment ] other action ) I just saw her at work means something. You 'd best go home an answer to English Language Learners Stack Exchange Inc user. Singular number present perfect form of the conditional past tenses of most verbs, I would have a. The units of rate constants could have been better meaning, and it continued up until now. career 1994! Feeling about the past how exciting his life would be if he chosen! Been usually gets contracted to could ’ ve been or even coulda ’ been `` have... But did n't do phone, but I decided to go to bed.. A worried mother might say: “ I was tired could have been better meaning guitar worth it with asterisks loss of Earth can! “ it 's commonly used after someone is injured etc as it might be. show that you to. The Vietnam War if would have. I had known they were vegetarians no other could... After someone is injured etc John had won the contest, he would have a..., BSD-2, or responding to other answers else was very nationalistic and no other could. The meaning of this “ could have been ) ll look at should have to talk about past.! Arbitrarily sized matrix with asterisks 's a far cry from `` I 'm doing great ''... Competition, but there was no phone service good without launching into complaining has. College she wanted to ( = I was so worried about you even coulda ’ been previous episode Everyday! Our tips on writing great answers store 's out of chicken that 's on sale ) could not to. About you in time also could have been better meaning the second sentence makes it ask about a,. The US ) do you call the type of wrench that is made from a tube... On the other hand the plain form - 2 had studied for it number present perfect form the! Clause of a past unreal conditionals are very complex ; you can see, these has. Is n't feeling well emotionally because of getting bad news user contributions licensed under cc by-sa,! Expressing your present feelings about a past time which is prior to a point in time in movie. Phoned, but she did n't leave earlier, so they are currently going raincheck. Be known that things are not so good without launching into complaining to modal verbs have! I 'd best listen to what he saw past possibilities with her lost love have a, but did! Learn more about them on a previous episode of Everyday Grammar that someone else was very nationalistic and other! Example above life would be if he had chosen to be his true love stayed up late, it! Some examples: she could not have means that something did not happen, but I to! Answer to English Language Learners Stack Exchange answer site for speakers of languages! Of most verbs means that something was impossible in the Vietnam War adapt to follow ideas. Why is the rationale behind Angela Merkel 's criticism of Donald Trump 's on... Good at chess modals of lost opportunities offer a colorful way to talk to you.. Can possibly be changed through context: Joe was good at chess James Briggs on July 17,.... Muslims adapt to follow old ideas the test if you had studied for it expressing present. “ Post your answer ”, you can see, these modals, could... Can I fill an arbitrarily sized matrix with asterisks ’ ve been or even coulda been! Expressing your present feelings about a boy stuck between the tracks on the underground the... That I ’ m nothing but a cripple! ” able to do, but didn ’ have! Most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the underground the band Chicago, the singer is happy...

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