could

  • EFL Teacher
  • Grammar
could

 

 

How you can use "could" + infinitive..

 

 

1)  request  permission to do something

 

Could I ask you a question?

 

Could I ask a question please?


Could we go home now?

 

(In this case "could" is the polite version of "can"; "may" is another polite version."

 

 

2) past ability

 

positive form: general ability ( particular ability = managed to / succeeded in)

 

She could speak several languages.

 

 

 

negative form: general + particular ability

 

I couldn't read very well when I was young.

Simon was so drunk that he couldn't open the door.

 

 

 

3)  make suggestions

 

We could meet at the weekend.
You could eat out tonight.

 

 

4) future possibility

 

We could go climbing this summer, but I doubt we'll have time.

It could rain later on this evening.

 

 

 

5) asking someone to do something

Could you tell me the time please?

Could you help me with these bags?

 

 

6) offer to do something

 

Could I buy you a drink?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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