Could is for a past ability (not present ability). We use can and can't to talk about someone's skill or general abilities: She can speak several languages. You might = In those days, all the people had the ability to build houses. The modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will and would. Could + have + past participle: Unrealised past ability. Can and Could. ), 2. (= It was sometimes very cold there in winter. 5. Could I please use your bathroom? There are many different topics and levels. (= Maybe they will come by car. Kirk replied on 11 September, 2020 - 14:46 Spain. We use can to say that something is possible or that somebody has the ability to do something. We could meet at the weekend. We sometimes say cannot, but it is very emphatic. Could you pass me the salt please? 3. In my younger days I could run four miles at a stretch. To ask for or give permission / To request something. We use can't to refuse permission or say that someone does not have permission: You can't go home yet. It is simply the verb be plus an adjective (able) followed by the infinitive. The examples above are isolated sentences, so they don't have much contextual information. Can, could or may ? Can't: Something that is forbidden or not allowed, 6. He could read when he was three years old.2. You can use "can" to talk about things that someone is able to do: I can speak Spanish and French, too! the place, the time, the relationship between the speakers, other topics in the conversation). Can is used to ask for / request permission or to give permission. Similarly, to your friend who got poor exam results, you should say 'You should have studied more' instead of 'You must have studied more'. Would + Can = Could. aux.v. "Can" and "Could" for ability. How to use how can/could in a sentence. In general Could is considered more polite (or formal) that Can. e.g. Although we look at be able to here, it is not a modal verb. Can taucht nur im simple present. You can borrow my pen if you like. How can/could definition is - —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong. 2. 1) We use verbs in the infinitive form after "can" and "could". These animals can be dangerous. ): • We can see the lake from our bedroom window. We use could have to make guesses about the past: It's ten o'clock. It is correct to use 'must have' for deductions. How to use how can/could in a sentence. 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. He can swim like a fish. But since they are wild animals, there is the possibility that they are dangerous. How can/could definition is - —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong. 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? Auch im present perfect kommt es vor. —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong… Could taucht also im simple present und simple past auf. Nancy could ski like a pro by the age of 11. © British Council 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. We use can + infinitive (can do / can see etc. We can try asking Lucy for help (How about 'could'), 3. You might say this, for example, when you see some animals you're unfamiliar with (e.g. Perhaps they won't be dangerous in this situation, but you know that in some cases they are. Could is similar to Can and often replaces Can in the past tense (though not always)1. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary Another word for could. What shall we do? 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'. ), IsabelTim_123 replied on 4 September, 2020 - 16:44 Malaysia, 1. 3. Just like can't, you can use couldn't when you are sure that something isn't true or real. It is used to talk about ability that existed in the past. To work out which meaning is intended by a speaker or writer, we need to consider the context. Could. We use could to show that something is possible, but not certain: They could come by car. when she was little) to show that could means 'past ability' here, and not 'possibility'. To express a possibility (in general). can, could, be able to Quiz. ‘Can you meet me at 5?’ Is used to talk about ability. Could. See our more simple notes about Can and Cannot. Note: we don't use can to talk about future possibilities. 'can be' is used to speak more about a possibility we are familiar with -- it suggests that you know something about the animals. Is used to make informal requests and orders. Sometimes this is a form of criticism. The negative form of could is couldn't in spoken English and could not in written English. In most cases, it can … Students can't travel for free. 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'. They can't dance very well. Is used to talk about possibility. We use can't have or couldn't have to say that a past event was impossible: They know the way here. A suggestion when asked what to do (choices and opportunities), 5. [but I didn't]. This refers to a theoretical possibility. To express that something was possible but did not happen. ‘Could’ and ‘can’ both mean the same thing, which is why they are commonly confused. That includes other things the speaker or writer says, and details about the situation (e.g. It tests what you learned on the can, could, be able to page. Improve your English with our interactive English grammar games. Could. For this you would use may or might. 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. This success could not have been achieved without your cooperation. 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'' ? In 4, 'cannot have' is not correct because the sentence is speaking about an unreal past, i.e. 20 question sentences with Answer Key on Page 2 Level: Beginner to Elementary Time: Approx 15 minutes. We use can't or cannot to say that something is impossible: That can't be true. smit replied on 10 September, 2020 - 19:46 India, Yes, but what about below example Note: Can't is used to refuse permission. can’t and cannot. Polite word used to ask for permission or to request something (in the present) 1. The three main uses of Can are: 1) ability 2) possibility and 3) permission. Both Can and Could are Modal Verbs. To ask questions: Students can travel for free. Find more ways to say could, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. It refers to past time only when the context makes the time clear. e.g. Can, could and be able to. Examples: Extreme rain could cause the river to flood the city. "Could" is a modal verb used to express possibility or past ability as well as to make suggestions and requests. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland). Could + have + past participle: To express a possibility in the past. wild pigs) and you really don't know anything about them. 2. IsabelTim_123 replied on 11 September, 2020 - 12:37 Malaysia. could synonyms, could pronunciation, could translation, English dictionary definition of could. Game, Could is similar to Can and often replaces Can in the past tense (though not always), 2. The United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. The word ‘could’ is a form of the word ‘can’, but the two are used in very different contexts. 6. Could is the past tense of can. Dare, need, have to and used to also share some of the features of modal verbs. could verb (CAN) A2. Me :- she Could (as I'm not 100% sure about answer), Jonathan R replied on 11 September, 2020 - 12:56 United Kingdom. You :- Sarah can speak English? 2. 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. could is more formal and polite than can: Could I ask a question please?Could we go home now? Used to indicate ability or permission in the past: I could … 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. 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. Modal verbs have only one form. Can is used when you offer to help someone or to do something for them. about Can - Cannot. You can do this grammar quiz online or print it on paper. We use be able to: 1. to talk about ability Note: Would be able to can replace could in the following examples. Past tense of can1 1. Thanks for your question regarding can vs could. Where are they? If I'm not 100% sure, I would say: She might be able to. Till last year I could read without glasses. They have no -ing or -ed forms and do not add -s to the 3rd person singular form: He … 'cannot have' makes a statement about a real past action which we think did not occur. To express ability in the past 1. 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. )They could be at home. e.g. 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. We make questions by putting the subject after can/could: The negative form is can't in spoken English and cannot in written English. 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: Can, could, be able to. You can see more about this on our Modals – deductions about the past page. I think that should be quite clear, but if you have any more questions, please let us know. - Is it the same as These animals may be dangerous? We use can to make general statements about what is possible: It can be very cold here in winter. He could read when he was three years old. In the past, "could" is actually a little tricky. Can. Write short answers (with pronouns) to the questions below. We use can to say that someone has permission to do something: We can go out whenever we want. Couldn't: Sure that something is untrue. Could can mean possibility in the present, but speaking English is an ability, not a possibility. What shall we do tomorrow? "Can" and "Could" are tricky because you can use them for a few different purposes, and the rules are different for each version. Can means to be (physically) able to do something OR to know how to do something. You cannot be serious. (Might shows a lack of certainty. The modal verbs can and could represent the ability of a person or thing in doing something. This is used to say that someone was able to do something, but they did not try to do it. In 1 and 2, 'could' is also possible and I'd understand it to mean the same thing. (How about 'cannot have'), Kirk replied on 5 September, 2020 - 14:12 Spain. ‘Can you bring me my jumper?’ Has two negative forms,. also want to see our Can - Can't - Cannot Is used to talk about past abilities. (= People often get lost in this town.). However there are some other used of Can as we will see below. 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. Polite word used to ask for permission or to request something (in the present), 4. We use could to make general statements about the past: It could be very cold there in winter. )You could easily get lost in that town. 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 ? 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. They could have arrived by now. (= Maybe they are at home.). It was so noisy that we … They could have got lost. In this example, could doesn't work. (I can speak Spanish. Let me explain the difference and then show you examples to make it clear. In 3, there is nothing grammatically wrong with saying 'can', but it's not really an appropriate response to the question. Note that could doesn’t always refer to past time. Define could. You can go home now. ‘When I was a child I could do handstands’. a past condition that didn't really exist. see can (could) do with; see with half an eye, could. Well, we could go fishing (How about 'can'), 4. If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder. 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. We use can to ask for permission to do something: Can I ask a question, please?Can we go home now? She could juggle eight balls when she was only 10 years old. Also see under can; couldn't. 4. ‘I can ride a bike’. 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. Let's look at the basics regarding these modal auxiliary verbs. (= People often got lost in that town.). 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'? We look at be able to here because we sometimes use it instead of can and could. 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 The word ‘can’, in its most common form, means to be able to do something. )You can easily get lost in this town. 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. You could eat out tonight. They couldn't dance very well. Could we move on to the next topic now please? 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. I could ride a horse when I was younger but now I can't. They can't have got lost! "Could" is also commonly used in conditional sentences as the conditional form of "can." Yes, that's right! (= It is sometimes very cold here in winter. 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. 7.