Questions tagged [could-modal]

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Do words such as “could have”, “should have”, or “might have” represent the past possibilities of the past?

We know that words such as could have, should have, or might have mean past possibilities. When they are used in a noun clause following a verb, do they represent the past possibilities of the past? ...
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17 views

“could” is used for past ability or ability now(or future)?

Social media services also enabled people to publicize their views on new songs, list their new favorite bands in their social media bios, and argue over new music endlessly on message boards. The ...
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38 views

<could usage> She could be very unkind

She could be very unkind. In the above sentence, what is this "could" usage? I mean, this could has a similar meaning to "would"(would do something used for talking about things ...
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17 views

Which should we use?'Can' or 'could'?

Is it possible to use 'can' instead of 'could' in this sentence? It encouraged me to bring my old coats for the homeless so that they could stay warm.
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40 views

“How couldn't I do” vs. “how couldn't I have done” in the sense of criticiizing oneself for failure to do something in the past

Could you tell me if I have to use how couldn't I or how couldn't have I in the sense of criticizing oneself for failure to do something in the past? For example: The problem turns out to be so easy. ...
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24 views

Is there a difference between “can't” or “couldn't”?

He spoke so quickly that I can't understand him at all. He spoke so quickly that I couldn't understand him at all. What is more correct?
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109 views

Can't have + V3 or Couldn't have + V3

Is there any difference between the following sentences? If Jones was at work until six, he can't have done the murder. If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder.
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42 views

Modal verbs: difference betweeen ¨Would¨ and ¨Could¨

I have a question: when I could use the modal verb ¨Could¨ and when ¨Would¨ because for me is similar. I know ¨Would¨ we can use it in very polite situations like ¨would you like a cup of coffee¨. But ...
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77 views

could vs might (for expressing the future possibility)

Could vs might(for the future possibility) I could go there. I might go there. I know that these two sentences talk about less possibility to go there. but, I can’t know their slight difference. When ...
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2answers
67 views

could vs might (for the future possibility)

Could vs might(for the future possibility) I could go there. I might go there. I know that these two sentences talk about less possibility to go there. but, I can’t know their slight difference. ...
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1answer
569 views

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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37 views

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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33 views

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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131 views

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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18 views

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
145 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
77 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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68 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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2answers
60 views

“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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921 views

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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59 views

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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“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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164 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 ?