Using Can and Could
‘Can’ and ‘could’ are modal verbs that can be used in a few different ways. Read the post to learn the right way of using modal verb forms “can” and “could”.
Use “can” to talk about:
I can swim well.
Although they have horses, they can’t ride them.
When mum gets back from shopping we can go out.
It can be difficult to drive on the left side of the road if you’re nor used to it.
I am not working today so we can go to the beach.
If the bus arrives in five minutes, we can be on time for the meeting.
You can park here.
You can’t smoke here. It is not allowed.
Use “could” to talk about:
Possibility in the past:
Last year, we could go on holiday wherever we wanted.
I could swim when I was five.
Uncertain possibility in the future:
She could fail her exam unless she studies more.
They could get a better job if they were more fluent in English.
Use either “can” or “could” to ASK permission. “Could” is more polite and formal:
Can I have another cup of coffee?
Could I borrow your car?
However, to GIVE permission, use “can” or “cannot”.
It stopped raining, you can go out now.
You can’t borrow my car, I need it.
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