I have often heard the phrase “He couldn’t be with us today”.
However, this seems contradictory because “today” is in the present, but “couldn’t” is past tense (or subjunctive, but the sentence is clearly not in the subjunctive).
So which of the following is correct?
- He is very ill, so he couldn’t be with us today.
- He is very ill, so he can’t be with us today.