20180112

Modal 'COULD'




COULD

Could is the Past form of Can.
Could is used with non progressive verb (See/Hear/Smell/Taste/Feel/Remember/Understand):
-     When Sarah came into the classroom, we could smell her perfume.
-     He told me his name only once but I could remember it.
Came and Told are V2 (Past Verb) shows past activity.
Smell and Remember are nonprogressive verb.


Could is used to say that someone had capability in the past or allowed to do something:
-     Kevin could speak three foreign languages.
-     My grandma could cook Chinese food.
-     I already talked to miss Jane. We could submit the paper a bit late.
-     My manager is a nice person. I could do my job in my own way.
Is shows present time.
Could expresses that I am allowed to do the job in my own way.


*  We use Could to express ability in general. If we talk about something that happened at a certain situation in the past, we use Be Able To the past form is (Was/Were Able To) or Managed To:
-     The exam was very difficult but I was able to pass it.
-     The exam was very difficult but I managed to pass it.
-     I didn’t want to go to the movie with them at first but they were able to persuade me.
-     I didn’t want to go to the movie with them at first but they managed to persuade me.

Notice the difference between Could vs Be Going To Past form:
Kevin was a great swimmer. He could swim for one hour without a break.
Could express the ability in general that possessed by Kevin in the past.
  
-     Kevin and I had swimming competition yesterday. He beat me easily. He was able to swim for one hour without a break.  Or  He managed to swim for one hour without a break.
Be Able To and Managed To express capability to do something at a certain situation (that is when having swimming competition).

  
Negative form of Could is Could not can be shortened as Couldn’t. Can be used for any kind of situation:
-     Kevin couldn’t swim.
-     They asked me to go to the movie with them but no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t persuade me.


*  Could can also be used to talk about activity that can be done at Present or Future especially to give a Suggestion. Can Also usable. Can is more sure than Could:
-     Andrew :          What shall we do this evening?
      Jason     :          We could play online games  (or)   We can play online games.

-     When you go to Amsterdam for holiday next month, you could stay at my house  (or)  You can stay at my house.
This Evening and Next Month in the above examples are Adverb of Time which show Future time.
We may use either Can or Could.


*  If we don’t mean to do what we say, then we use Could.
-     I really like the foods in this restaurant. I could eat ten plates.
-     She makes me really angry. I could kill her. (Only expressing anger. Not to really kill).


Could is also used to express a possibility of something to happen at Present or in the Future:
-     Someone is knocking the door. It could be Kevin.
-     Jason doesn’t tell me when he will come to visit me. He could come at any time.
For situations like in the above examples, we may not use Can, but we may use Might.

-     Someone is knocking the door. It might be Kevin.
-     Jason doesn’t tell me when he will come to visit me. He might come at any time.

*  To say that something is possible to happen in the Past we use:
COULD HAVE + V3

Notice the difference of Could for Present vs Could for Past:
Someone is knocking the door. It could be Kevin.
Someone was knocking the door but I was too sleepy to open it. It could have been Kevin.
Tobe IS in the first sentence shows present.
Tobe WAS in the second sentence shows Past.


Could Have + V3 frequently used to say that something could happen in the past, but it didn’t:
-     Why did you stay at a hotel when you went to New York? You could have stayed with me.
-     I met Sarah last night but she didn’t say anything. She could have told what happened.
When I met Sarah last night, She had an opportunity and ability to tell what happened. But she didn’t say anything.

*  Could can also have the same meaning as Would Be Able To:
-     I could help you if you told me the truth.
-     I would be able to help you if you told me the truth.
-     I could have helped you if you had told me the truth.
-     I would have been able to help you if you had told me the truth.


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