couldnt be happier ????

Email Addict   Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:30 pm GMT
what is meant by "couldnt be happier" ??
furrykef   Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:44 pm GMT
It's emphatic: the speaker is so happy that being even happier is not possible, because the speaker is as happy as possible.

- Kef
Guest   Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:24 pm GMT
How about "I could be happier". Is that used?
furrykef   Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:45 pm GMT
Yes, "I could be happier" usually means the speaker is unhappy or depressed, but not always. It depends on the context. A speaker who is already happy would more likely say "even happier": "I'm happy now, but I could be even happier if I buy a new computer."

Similar expressions to "I could be happier", with the meaning of unhappiness, are "I've been better", or "I could be better", which are more common. People say things this way because saying something like "I'm depressed" or "I'm unhappy" may seem too direct, and may cause the listener to be too concerned.

- Kef