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Thread: Can Vs. Could.

  1. #1
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    Smile Can Vs. Could.

    Hello everyone,

    What is the difference between can and Could in this sentence?

    Do you know any place I could/can buy some cheese from?

    I know that Could is like might and may while can means possibility. But in this sentence I guess there's something I actually don't know.
    I wish I had better English, but I work hard to improve it. I'm studying for IGCSE, so I'm only interested in BrE.

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    Default Re: Can Vs. Could.

    This reply is not based on grammar, but on actual colloquial usage in AmE. The two are very close in meaning. The only difference is that we tend to say can when planning to buy cheese in the immediate future, and we tend to say could in other cases.

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    Default Re: Can Vs. Could.

    Well, thanks very much. Please, don't get me wrong - I'm not interested in AmE, so is this rule in BrE too? I'm studying for IGCSE.
    I wish I had better English, but I work hard to improve it. I'm studying for IGCSE, so I'm only interested in BrE.

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    Default Re: Can Vs. Could.

    I think that the BrE usage is the same, but it would be best to wait for confirmation from a native speaker of BrE.

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    Default Re: Can Vs. Could.

    An additional comment, since you are studying for the IGCSE. You don't need the right answer. You need the right answer for purposes of a particular examination, which can sometimes be quite another thing.

    I would advise students who are preparing for a particular examination to include that information with their queries.

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