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Could you pass me the salt please? In general Could is considered more polite (or formal) that Can. Past tense of can1 1. (Might shows a lack of certainty. e.g. 'may be', 'might be' and 'could be' would all mean the same thing in this sentence: these animals are possibly dangerous, but I'm not sure. You cannot be serious. "Can" and "Could" for ability. Can is used when you offer to help someone or to do something for them. ), 2. You could eat out tonight. We use can and can't to talk about the ability to do something at a specific time in the present or future: We use could and couldn't to talk about the past: She could speak several languages. ‘Can you bring me my jumper?’ Has two negative forms,. - Is it the same as These animals may be dangerous? If you found these English Grammar Rules about Can vs Could interesting or useful, let others know about it: A variety of English grammar notes and rules including charts and examples for beginner to advanced level students. You can borrow my pen if you like. The word ‘can’, in its most common form, means to be able to do something. We use can and can't to talk about someone's skill or general abilities: She can speak several languages. A suggestion when asked what to do (choices and opportunities), 5. They couldn't dance very well. İt may be still forbidden or not now.But that time it was forbidden.Last question Can I use ''must have '' past advice like ''should have'' for example can I say ''you failed exam you must have studied hard'' otherwise can I use ''mustn't have done'' only past strong deduction ? They could have arrived by now. We use can't to refuse permission or say that someone does not have permission: You can't go home yet. 6. "Could" is also commonly used in conditional sentences as the conditional form of "can." You might say this, for example, when you see some animals you're unfamiliar with (e.g. (= Maybe they are at home.). wild pigs) and you really don't know anything about them. These animals can be dangerous. This success could not have been achieved without your cooperation. We sometimes say cannot, but it is very emphatic. The modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will and would. Improve your English with our interactive English grammar games. Where are they? I think that should be quite clear, but if you have any more questions, please let us know. We use could to show that something is possible, but not certain: We use can to make general statementsabout what is possible: Level: intermediate We use could have to make guesses about the past: We use could to make general statements about the past: We use can't have or couldn't have to say that a past event was impossible: How to use how can/could in a sentence. We look at be able to here because we sometimes use it instead of can and could. They can't dance very well. (= Maybe they will come by car. LearnEnglish Subscription: self-access courses for professionals, aliakar86 replied on 14 September, 2020 - 13:35 Azerbaijan, Hi I want to ask about usage of '' Must not'' negative form of Must in past Can I use ''Mustn't have v3'' in Past strong advice and past prohibited.For exapmle can I say ''Last night you was sic.You must not have gone to outside'' (Strong advice) and talk about past prohibited can I say ''You mustn't have sold cigarette under 18 20 years ago'' ? Used to indicate ability or permission in the past: I could … Perhaps they won't be dangerous in this situation, but you know that in some cases they are. Note that could doesn’t always refer to past time. smit replied on 10 September, 2020 - 19:46 India, Yes, but what about below example Could can mean possibility in the present, but speaking English is an ability, not a possibility. 2. He could read when he was three years old. Can is used to ask for / request permission or to give permission. )You can easily get lost in this town. In this example, could doesn't work. It is correct to use 'must have' for deductions. (I can speak Spanish. Note: Would be able to can replace could in the following examples. 1) We use verbs in the infinitive form after "can" and "could". Both Can and Could are Modal Verbs. ‘Can you meet me at 5?’ Is used to talk about ability. 2. Let's look at the basics regarding these modal auxiliary verbs. For Exapmle: I saw my friend's car in front of his home and I can say 'He mustn't gone work by his car'', Kirk replied on 15 September, 2020 - 08:20 Spain. In 3, there is nothing grammatically wrong with saying 'can', but it's not really an appropriate response to the question. Could I please use your bathroom? We use can't have or couldn't have to say that a past event was impossible: They know the way here. "Could" is a modal verb used to express possibility or past ability as well as to make suggestions and requests. © British Council Could taucht also im simple present und simple past auf. Can means to be (physically) able to do something OR to know how to do something. 7. We use can to ask for permission to do something: Can I ask a question, please?Can we go home now? For this you would use may or might. )You could easily get lost in that town. We use can to make general statements about what is possible: It can be very cold here in winter. We use could to show that something is possible, but not certain: They could come by car. see can (could) do with; see with half an eye, could. This refers to a theoretical possibility. We use could have to make guesses about the past: It's ten o'clock. Also see under can; couldn't. —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong… (How about 'cannot have'), Kirk replied on 5 September, 2020 - 14:12 Spain. Students can travel for free. Me :- she Could (as I'm not 100% sure about answer), Jonathan R replied on 11 September, 2020 - 12:56 United Kingdom. Could Technically, could is the past tense of can, but it is an auxiliary verb with a few uses, not all of which are in the past tense, namely the following: As the past tense of can: In those days, all the people could build houses. Find more ways to say could, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. ‘When I was a child I could do handstands’. To ask questions: You can use "can" to talk about things that someone is able to do: I can speak Spanish and French, too! I'm afraid that it's not correct to use 'mustn't have' in the ways you ask about because in English you can't prohibit something that already happened. Would + Can = Could. In 4, 'cannot have' is not correct because the sentence is speaking about an unreal past, i.e. It tests what you learned on the can, could, be able to page. Note: we don't use can to talk about future possibilities. Nancy could ski like a pro by the age of 11. You can go home now. (= People often get lost in this town.). Students can't travel for free. We use can to say that someone has permission to do something: We can go out whenever we want. Could + have + past participle: Unrealised past ability. aux.v. ‘Could’ and ‘can’ both mean the same thing, which is why they are commonly confused. Define could. also want to see our Can - Can't - Cannot Could is the past tense of can. He could read when he was three years old.2. If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder. We use could to make general statements about the past: It could be very cold there in winter. What shall we do tomorrow? It refers to past time only when the context makes the time clear. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland). How can/could definition is - —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong. Can, could and be able to. Yes, that's right! (= It is sometimes very cold here in winter. It was so noisy that we … Is used to talk about possibility. Polite word used to ask for permission or to request something (in the present), 4. Can. e.g. ICP#: 10044692, LearnEnglish Subscription: self-access courses, English Online: 100% online teacher-led course, EnglishScore Tutors: personal online English tutors, Delexical verbs: 'have', 'take', 'make', 'give', 'go' and 'do'. You can see more about this on our Modals – deductions about the past page. 'can be' is used to speak more about a possibility we are familiar with -- it suggests that you know something about the animals. In the past, "could" is actually a little tricky. See our more simple notes about Can and Cannot. Is used to make informal requests and orders. The question asks for ideas and usually we use a hypothetical form like 'could' to answer such a question, not a form that speaks about ability. = In those days, all the people had the ability to build houses. Can, could or may ? when she was little) to show that could means 'past ability' here, and not 'possibility'. Could. )They could be at home. We sometimes say I can ... or I could ... to make an offer: I can do that for you if you like.I could give you a lift to the station. 20 question sentences with Answer Key on Page 2 Level: Beginner to Elementary Time: Approx 15 minutes. You :- Sarah can speak English? To express that something was possible but did not happen. Can taucht nur im simple present. He can swim like a fish. smit replied on 10 September, 2020 - 08:22 India, Could is use for past ability and for possibility, how we can know in what meaning could is used for in sentence, Jonathan R replied on 10 September, 2020 - 10:30 United Kingdom. [but I didn't]. For example, it's not correct to say to your friend 'You must not have gone outside' -- instead, you should say 'You shouldn't have gone outside'. There are three possibilities: we can talk to a lawyer, we can go to the police, or we can forget all about it (How about 'could'? It is used to talk about ability that existed in the past. Sometimes this is a form of criticism. 5. Could we move on to the next topic now please? In my younger days I could run four miles at a stretch. To express a possibility (in general). For example, one sentence above is: But, in real speaking or writing, it would have more context, for example: The context gives us clues (e.g. past simple of "can", used to talk about what someone or something was able or allowed to do: When I was younger I could stay up all night and not get tired. We can try asking Lucy for help (How about 'could'), 3. The modal verbs can and could represent the ability of a person or thing in doing something. e.g. Can't: when you are sure that something isn't true or something is surprising, For more examples, including how to make questions, see our grammar notes Can't: Something that is forbidden or not allowed, 6. That includes other things the speaker or writer says, and details about the situation (e.g. Can and Could. Just like can't, you can use couldn't when you are sure that something isn't true or real. ): • We can see the lake from our bedroom window. How to use how can/could in a sentence. If I'm not 100% sure, I would say: She might be able to. IsabelTim_123 replied on 11 September, 2020 - 12:37 Malaysia. Kirk replied on 11 September, 2020 - 14:46 Spain. Could + have + past participle: To express a possibility in the past. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary However, there is a difference in their usage, as ‘can‘ is used in present situation, whereas we can use ‘could‘ for talking about a past ability.Both are followed by a base form of the verb. Could. We use could you … as a polite way of telling or asking someone to do something: Could you take a message, please?Could I have my bill, please? The three main uses of Can are: 1) ability 2) possibility and 3) permission. To express ability in the past 1. There are many different topics and levels. To ask for or give permission / To request something. Dare, need, have to and used to also share some of the features of modal verbs. If, for example, you see those wild pigs and know for a fact that in some situations they are dangerous --perhaps your grandfather told you this -- and using 'can' would express this idea. Note: Can't is used to refuse permission. They could have got lost. Can, could, be able to. Well, we could go fishing (How about 'can'), 4. She could juggle eight balls when she was only 10 years old. Game, Could is similar to Can and often replaces Can in the past tense (though not always), 2. can’t and cannot. Although we look at be able to here, it is not a modal verb. It is simply the verb be plus an adjective (able) followed by the infinitive. Is used to talk about past abilities. "Can" and "Could" are tricky because you can use them for a few different purposes, and the rules are different for each version. We use can't or cannot to say that something is impossible: That can't be true. Couldn't: Sure that something is untrue. To work out which meaning is intended by a speaker or writer, we need to consider the context. Similarly, to your friend who got poor exam results, you should say 'You should have studied more' instead of 'You must have studied more'. The United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. This is used to say that someone was able to do something, but they did not try to do it. 3. about Can - Cannot. Till last year I could read without glasses. You might Could is similar to Can and often replaces Can in the past tense (though not always)1. 3. In 1 and 2, 'could' is also possible and I'd understand it to mean the same thing. (= People often got lost in that town.). The examples above are isolated sentences, so they don't have much contextual information. We use could have to say that someone had the ability or opportunity to do something, but did not do it: She could have learned Swahili, but she didn't want to.I could have danced all night. Wenn man das Modalverb can in andere Zeitformen umwandeln möchte, muss man das Ersatzverb to be able to verwenden oder aber to be allowed to, wenn can eher in der Bedeutung von erlaubt sein verwendet wird. The negative form of could is couldn't in spoken English and could not in written English. ), IsabelTim_123 replied on 4 September, 2020 - 16:44 Malaysia, 1. We use be able to: 1. to talk about ability We use can + infinitive (can do / can see etc. We make questions by putting the subject after can/could: The negative form is can't in spoken English and cannot in written English. Thanks for your question regarding can vs could. (= It was sometimes very cold there in winter. They can't have got lost! 'cannot have' makes a statement about a real past action which we think did not occur. 4. They have no -ing or -ed forms and do not add -s to the 3rd person singular form: He …

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