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A sentence from the grammar textbook seems off

Michael2

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Well I am a primary teacher atm, but most of the examples are just from a quick google. I think the confusing thing is that the "senses" doesn't just mean the verbs "see" "hear" etc, but actions connected to them so as "eating" is connected to tasting and is a physical action then it follows the rule. I think, "I could lift it yesterday," maybe for extra emphasis compared to today, makes it sound alright, but if it was just a pure fact about something you did with no comparison to anything, I would hazard you would phrase it differently. "Did the gardeners manage to dig that tree up?" "Yes, they did it quite easily". I wouldn't use "could" in the question, it would sound like a request then, and I would just say they did it in the answer.
I think a lot of these sentences possibly look fine on the screen because structurally they are accurate, but semantically would actually sound quite odd if you heard them spoken.
 

hirashin

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Is the textbook published by a company (with no author given), is it published under the name of several authors (three or more), or is it published under the name of one author (I'm guessing this is not likely)?

This textbook is published by a company, with no authors' names given, which is not a good thing. It's an irresponsible act, I think. Yesterday I sent them a message saying that the sentence "They could reach agreement yesterday." is wrong. I wonder what they will do.

The reason I ask is that--in my experience leading a group of five, who are editing questions for entrance exams--sometimes "natural" or "good" English suffers death by committee (or is smothered, or choked).

That seems to be a weird "tradition" in this country. Japanese people who don't know English well should never criticize sentences that native speakers make.
 

Buntaro

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That seems to be a weird "tradition" in this country. Japanese people who don't know English well should never criticize sentences that native speakers make.

Unfortunately, Japan is infamous for older English teachers who can't speak English. These older teachers go on to teach only "Japanglish" to the next generation of English teachers, who will then pass it on to the next generation. They are also infamous for fighting any attempts to change the system. I also believe the older teachers refuse to let any younger teachers "show them up" because some younger teachers can speak English but the older ones cannot.

I wonder if new English teachers in Japan could ever be required to pass a "Japanglish" test...?
 

Seiko

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2a) They could reach agreement yesterday.

2a) They could of reach agreement yesterday.

I say they are missing the (of) word.
 

DawnMcReynolds

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Dear native English speakers,
There are some sentences in our grammar textbook which seem to be wrong.
I wish I could avoid using this book.

What do you think of these sentences? I think 2a is wrong.

1a) You need not listen to his speech from the beginning to the end.
1b) You need not have listened to his speech from the beginning to the end.
2a) They could reach agreement yesterday.
2b) They could have reached agreement yesterday.
3a) The couple should buy a bigger house before the birth of their first baby.
3b) The couple should have bought a bigger house before the birth of their first baby.

Thanks in advance.
Hirashin
I agree with you. In my opinion, 2a is wrong.
You can REACH something now or in the future, but yesterday is in the past, so it should be They could have reached . . .
 
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