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navi
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:23:45 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/2014
Posts: 353
Neurons: 3,335
Who stole your mother's purse?
1) Obviously the butler did it, as only he could.
2) Obviously the butler did it, because only he could.

(I am saying the butler did it, because nobody else could have done it.)



3) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, as only I could.
4) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, because only I could.

(I saved them, because nobody else could have done it.)



5) She played the concerto as only she could.
(She played it in the way only she could play it in. Presumably, her performance was unique and wonderful.)

Are sentences 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 correct in the given contexts?

Gratefully,
Navi
thar
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:40:42 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 17,983
Neurons: 72,942
navi wrote:
Who stole your mother's purse?
1) Obviously the butler did it, as only he could.

No, because 'as only he could' means 'in the way that only he could'
So here you need the auxiliary part of the verb to be in the past before the crime.
I know he did it because it is only him who could have done it.
Obviously he did it, as only he could have.
But I don't like that. It doesn't feel very natural.

2) Obviously the butler did it, because only he could.

Because is better, but you still need 'could have' or 'could have done it'.
(I am saying the butler did it, because nobody else could have done it.)






3) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, as only I could.
No, again 'as' is not the best way of saying 'because'. The best way is 'because'!

4) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, because only I could.

Yes, because the ability and the saving occurred at the same time.
(I saved them, because nobody else could have done it.)





5) She played the concerto as only she could.
(She played it in the way only she could play it. Presumably, her performance was unique and wonderful.)

Yes, that is how you use 'as'. And the past tense is ' as she could play it' - habitually, so you can use 'could' on its own.



Are sentences 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 correct in the given contexts?

Gratefully,
Navi
capitán
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2018 4:27:28 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2013
Posts: 470
Neurons: 17,558
Location: San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
The example given by Thar is extremely clear.
Thank you for your help!
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