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In the following sentence, why is "can" appropriate than "could"? Is it a grammar thing? please explain.

The more satisfied you are with your job, the more effort you could put into your work.

  • Is this a sentence you wrote or one that you found? If the former, what are you trying to say with can*/*could? If the latter, please include a link to the source. – Alan Carmack Jul 29 '16 at 18:47
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Neither "can" nor "could" is appropriate here. In this context, both refer to ability, and your ability to put effort into your work is not dependent on your level of satisfaction. So we're really talking about probability here, not possibility or ability, which means we want "might":

"The more satisfied you are with your job, the more effort you might put into your work."

| improve this answer | |
  • I agree that the use of could by native speakers is not likely in this sentence, but I also suggest that would is much likely than might here. – Alan Carmack Jun 29 '16 at 17:49

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