how can/could


how can/could
how can/could
1
— used to show you think that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong

“We don't need his help anyway.” “How can you say that?!” [=it is very wrong of you to say that]

How could she just walk away from her children like that?

2
— used to express doubt that something will happen, is possible, etc.

How could I (ever/possibly) leave this job?

How can I (ever/possibly) thank you? [=I can never thank you enough; I am extremely grateful to you]

3 how could you informal
— used to show disappointment in someone's actions, thoughts, words, etc.

You threw away my gift? Oh, how could you?

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Main Entry:how

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • how can someone (do something)? — how can/could/someone (do something)? spoken phrase used for saying that you think someone’s behaviour is very surprising or very bad How can anyone believe such nonsense? How could you be so cruel? …   Useful english dictionary

  • how can you! — how ˈcan/ˈcould you! idiom (informal) used to show that you strongly disapprove of sb s behaviour or are very surprised by it • Ben! How could you? After all they ve done for us! • Ugh! How can you eat that stuff? Ma …   Useful english dictionary

  • How I Could Just Kill a Man — «How I Could Just Kill a Man» de Cypress Hill del álbum Cypress Hill Publicación 1991 Formato CD Género(s) Hardcore hip hop Duración 4:08 …   Wikipedia Español

  • how — W1S1 [hau] adv, conj [: Old English; Origin: hu] 1.) used to ask or talk about the way in which something happens or is done ▪ How do you spell your name? ▪ How can I help you? ▪ I d like to help in some way, but I m not sure how. ▪ He explained… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • how — [ hau ] function word *** How can be used in the following ways: as an adverb (introducing a direct or indirect question): How do you spell your last name? I don t know how the system works. (introducing an EXCLAMATION): How I hate the winter!… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • how could someone (do something)? — how can/could/someone (do something)? spoken phrase used for saying that you think someone’s behaviour is very surprising or very bad How can anyone believe such nonsense? How could you be so cruel? …   Useful english dictionary

  • how could you! — how ˈcan/ˈcould you! idiom (informal) used to show that you strongly disapprove of sb s behaviour or are very surprised by it • Ben! How could you? After all they ve done for us! • Ugh! How can you eat that stuff? Ma …   Useful english dictionary

  • how */*/*/ — UK [haʊ] / US adverb, conjunction Summary: How can be used in the following ways: as an adverb (introducing a direct or indirect question): How do you spell your last name? ♦ I don t know how the system works. (introducing an exclamation): How I… …   English dictionary

  • can — 1 strong verb (modal verb) 1 to be able to: He s so tall he can touch the ceiling. | This machine can perform two million calculations per second. | I can t remember where I put it. | They have everything that money can buy. | The police still… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • can — can1 [ weak kən, strong kæn ] modal verb *** Can is usually followed by an infinitive without to : I can speak French. Sometimes it is used without a following infinitive: Come and help us, if you can. Can does not change its form, so the third… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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