could do without

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could do without (past participle could have done without)

  1. To not want something, perhaps because it would make the situation worse, or would simply be very annoying.
    I could do without the CEO coming today of all days. I've got enough problems as it is!

Usage notes[edit]

  • This is the subjunctive form of can do without.
  • Can do without is generally used for situations that can be changed, while could do without is often used in situations which cannot be changed. This is not a hard and fast rule.

See also[edit]