look at the four squares[ ]that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage. i want to know if could means might in the above sentence.can could be replaced by can? I'm very confused.

2 Answers 2


In general, and with many possible exceptions:

Can is used typically as an auxiliary verb to signify that something IS possible, often dependent on a condition:

He can finish the work today.
She can go the party if she has done her homework.

Could is used mainly as an auxiliary verb to signify:

Something that used to be true: He could run fast in his youth.
To introduce a condition: She could do better if she studied harder.
With a negative to introduce a reason:The concert could not take place because of bad weather.

Might is more often used as an auxiliary verb to introduce a possibility: I might (might not) go.
In itself, the use of might gives no indication of likelihood.

In some contexts, might and could are alternatives, with no difference in meaning: It might / could rain.


Can, could and might all refer to something that is possible. They indicate degrees of likeliness that something will happen.

In general:

  • Can is used when it's very likely that something will happen, or when you're stating a truth.
  • Could is used when it's possible, but not certain, that something will happen.
  • Might is used when there are only a few cases in which something will happen.

For example:

... where the following sentence can be added to the passage

It's entirely certain that the sentence can be added. There's little or no doubt that it can be added.

... where the following sentence could be added to the passage

While it's probably possible to add the sentence to the passage, it's not entirely certain that it will make sense after you add it. There's much more doubt than "can," but much less doubt than "might."

... where the following sentence might be added to the passage

Implies even more doubt and uncertainty about adding the sentence. Could implies that it's probably possible, but might leaves open the possibility that it won't be possible. Perhaps you will remove it after you add it because it doesn't seem to fit.

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