Questions tagged [could-modal]

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Why some people use could instead of can [duplicate]

Why some people use could instead of can (in the simple present tense) For example, Could you open the door?
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1answer
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Is it correct and natural to use the question “how could you have done it?” when expressing disbelief or surprise?

Is it correcr natural to use the question how could you have done it? when expressing disbelief or surprise? For example: So you are saying you made it. How could you have done it? You can't even ...
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1answer
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Usage of Could have

It’s ten o’clock. They could have arrived now. Does this “could have” indicates they “could have” but they didn’t? If my conclusion is correct, Are there anyother possible interpretations or not?
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Usage of modal verb Could

How could we spend this time on the island? Does this mean 1)It is impossible or difficult for us to spend time in the island? Or 2) What are the possible means to stay in the forest? If the ...
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Usage and understanding of could

I could go to the cinema. As I am not a native speaker, usage of modal verbs is always confusing to me. I understand the above sentence in following cases. So please say if I am wrong. Case1: It is ...
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Were you able to x Could you

I sent an e-mail to a customer, but he still hasn't answered me. Now, in order to reinforce, should I say: Were you able to check out the attached settlement proposal? or Could you check out the ...
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Can/Could have done = Can/Could it be so that

I recently saw such a phrase: I can have done it Can it be a contraction of It can be so that I have done it ? The same with I could have done it = It could be so that I had done it Or these ...
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2answers
46 views

“How could you have done it?” vs “How did you manage to do it”

Could you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between the question how could you have done it and how did you manage to do it? For example: The match seemed impossible to pull off, but ...
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1answer
28 views

What is the difference between “how could you do” and “how could have you done” when used to express critisism or annoyance?

What is the difference between how could you do and how could have you done when used to express critisism or annoyance? For example: You took Dad's car without asking. How could you do that! ...
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1answer
58 views

I couldn't / wasn't able to drink coffee (come home late) when I was 10 years old

Please, help me to understand the usage of these modals better. As I think, the most appropriate answer is I wasn't able to drink coffee (come home late) when I was 10 years old. because these ...
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How can one use WOULD and COULD, both, consecutively?

I encountered a sentence in an article. The writer (Australian) has used both COULD and WOULD consecutively in a sentence. The sentence is "But I was determined to make a statement: would could do ...
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1answer
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“Could not but” in interrogative sentence

Is the following sentence grammatically correct to write in literature? How could I not but close my eyes? As "I could not but close my eyes" is a valid sentence, I felt like this one should also ...
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use of could / would - correct the sentence - I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment

I like that piece of furniture. I wish it could fit in my apartment. Options: - was able to fit might would My answer: I like that piece of furniture. I wish it would fit in my ...
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1answer
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Is “could not have been done” more appropriate here? [closed]

An extract from today's newspaper: Despite our best efforts and the hard work of various organizations, the boy could not be retrieved so far. Should I use: ...the boy could not have been ...
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3answers
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“could” vs “could not” in this sentence?

"His dance was unbelievable! I don't know if even (I could do it/could have done it)" Just something that I want to say about a friend's dance performance last night.I think it should be "could ...
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1answer
79 views

How could have vs How could [duplicate]

How could we have spent this time on the island? How could we spend this time on the island? What is the difference between those two sentences ?