I think I have seen could in present tense, "Could you please buy me some fresh apples?" is this usage correct or not?

  • Do you mean in the present time? May 9, 2019 at 17:42
  • Possible duplicate of Is 'could V' always present or future?
    – Andrew
    May 9, 2019 at 17:43
  • @EnglishAdam yes, in present time. For eg. someone's in a fruit market and you are asking him on a phone call, if he could/can buy some apples.
    – Rishabh
    May 9, 2019 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


Could is possible in present time for two scenarios.

Firstly for polite requests (formality).

Could you tell me the time?

is more formal than

Can you tell me the time?

Secondly for unreal scenarios (probability).

If I could come...

is less probable than

If I can come...

Could for Ability is not possible in the present, Can must be used.

Last year I couldn't swim, now I can.

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