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  1. #1
    devonpham1998's Avatar
    devonpham1998 is offline Junior Member
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    Question "Can" or "Could"?

    I often have problems with "Can" and "Could" in both writing and speaking English. I would like to know when we use "Can" and when we use "Could". In writing, which one is more formal?

    Thanks,
    Devon Pham

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: "Can" or "Could"?

    Quote Originally Posted by devonpham1998 View Post
    I often have problems with "Can" and "Could" in both writing and speaking English. I would like to know when we use "Can" and when we use "Could". In writing, which one is more formal?

    Thanks,
    Devon Pham
    Neither one is more "formal" than the other. If you are asking somebody to do something for you, it's more polite to use "could" "Could/can you help me with this please?" "Could" is also the past tense of "can", "I can only walk a few miles these days." "When I was young I could walk ten with ease". Does this help? If you have any more specific questions about their use, pleas post them.

  3. #3
    devonpham1998's Avatar
    devonpham1998 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: "Can" or "Could"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Neither one is more "formal" than the other. If you are asking somebody to do something for you, it's more polite to use "could" "Could/can you help me with this please?" "Could" is also the past tense of "can", "I can only walk a few miles these days." "When I was young I could walk ten with ease". Does this help? If you have any more specific questions about their use, pleas post them.
    Thank you! It really helps me alot.
    I have one more question. In this case, I want to ask someone for help, should I say: "Could you do me a favour?" or "Can you do me a favour?"

    Devon

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: "Can" or "Could"?

    Quote Originally Posted by devonpham1998 View Post
    Thank you! It really helps me alot.
    I have one more question. In this case, I want to ask someone for help, should I say: "Could you do me a favour?" or "Can you do me a favour?"

    Devon
    "Could" is considered more polite when asking someone for help/to do something.

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