Should v Could

JohnC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Should v Could

Paul should have left earlier is given as 'Paul aurait du partir plus tot'.

I could have learnt to swim is given as 'J'aurais pu apprendre a nager'

These are exactly the same constructions, therefore they can not both be correct.

(Apologies for the absence of diacritic marks)

Asked 1 month ago
CécileKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hi John,

In French, you will use the verb 'devoir' to translate the idea of something you have to do.

Je dois partir plus tôt I must leave earlier

Je devrais partir plus tôt I should/ought to leave earlier

J'aurais dû partir plus tôt I should have left earlier 

In French, you will use the verb 'pouvoir' to convey the idea of something you are able to do.

Je peux apprendre à nager = I can learn to swim

Je pourrais apprendre à nager mais ...= I could learn to swim but ...

J'aurais pû apprendre à nager =I could have learnt to swim 

The same verb in different tenses to convey different situations.

Hope this helps!

Should v Could

Paul should have left earlier is given as 'Paul aurait du partir plus tot'.

I could have learnt to swim is given as 'J'aurais pu apprendre a nager'

These are exactly the same constructions, therefore they can not both be correct.

(Apologies for the absence of diacritic marks)

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