can’t | couldn’t + very well + INFINITIVE

In the English Vocabulary Profile at C2:

can’t/couldn’t very well do sth = used to say that something is not a suitable or practical thing to do

A search in the iWeb corpus for:

_VM _XX very well _V

1 CAN’T VERY WELL HAVE 30
2 CAN’T VERY WELL GO 28
3 CAN’T VERY WELL BE 22
4 CANNOT VERY WELL BE 21
5 COULDN’T VERY WELL HAVE 20
6 COULD NOT VERY WELL BE 18
7 CAN’T VERY WELL DO 16
8 COULDN’T VERY WELL TELL 16
9 COULDN’T VERY WELL SAY 15
10 CAN’T VERY WELL ASK 12
11 CAN’T VERY WELL MAKE 12
12 CAN’T VERY WELL TELL 11
13 CAN’T VERY WELL USE 10
14 CAN’T VERY WELL PUT 9
15 COULD NOT VERY WELL UNDERSTAND 9
16 COULD NOT VERY WELL HAVE 9
17 CAN’T VERY WELL EXPECT 9

You can’t very well expect other people to be nice to you if you aren’t willing to lead the way.

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