1). No one can fool me.

2). No one could fool me.

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

  • This is easily findable on the web. You are supposed to make an effort on your own and then ask.
    – Lambie
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:46
  • Sorry I have been trying very hard for a long time. I have even posted many questions related to this can-could. But I being able to underatand that particular answer. For new sentences , it’s new again. So could you please explain to me Jul 2, 2020 at 7:05
  • can versus could google.com/…
    – Lambie
    Jul 2, 2020 at 13:02

1 Answer 1


From my answer to a similar question

Can = have the ability to

Could = have the potential of

No one can fool me. (no one has the ability to fool me)

No one could fool me. (no one has the potential of fooling me)

  • "Ability" and "potential" are more or less synonyms.
    – Casey
    Dec 25, 2021 at 8:03
  • have potential means you may not have the ability now, but possible to have it in the future
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 25, 2021 at 11:43

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