0

Look at these sentences:

(1)He lost to a better player. He won in every other way one can imagine.

(2)You/one can get very nasty skin diseases from bathing in dirty water.

It can be seen that both the italicized expressions start with the general subject you/one. Can I replace the "can"s in (1) and (2) with "could"s to make them sound more hypothetical/less assertive?

1
  • Yes. The sentences: 'You could get very nasty skin diseases from bathing in dirty water' and 'He won in every other way one can imagine' could both work in the right context. It would also be less assertive because they are something that, with can, makes it sound that it is at least somewhat likely that it would happen, and for could, it makes it sound like it might happen. – Joe Kerr Dec 17 '20 at 14:07

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.