After looking up “would” and “could”, I couldn’t find any relevant meaning in the use of would and could in this text, which I found on a British Council page:

You could go on in the same way. You would use past tense forms to talk about something which happened ten years ago. So tense forms in reports and summaries in English are the same as in the rest of the language.

What if I use can and will? Is it ok?

  • What exactly is the problem, in your view? – WS2 Jan 21 '18 at 15:09
  • I have voted to close this question because it does not give the url of the text in question. Without such a citation, it is impossible to see the text in context and therefore impossible to give any explanation of any actual question about English grammar. I shall change my vote if the question is edited to provide the link. – Jeff Morrow Jan 21 '18 at 16:05
  • @NathanTuggy That still does not justify the OP from giving the relevant link. But thank you for the link. I have retracted my close vote. – Jeff Morrow Jan 21 '18 at 21:54
  • I meant "not giving" in my previous comment. – Jeff Morrow Jan 21 '18 at 22:01

In this context, "could" and "would" are synonymous.


The context is that a sentence was introduced with "it might be written as" with the clear implication that the thought could be expressed in other ways. So the "could" just recognizes that the example just given does not prevent use of a different form of expression going forward. The "would" is meant to specify how to proceed if the preceding example is used as a model going forward.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.