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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    #1

    can or could..i'm confused

    I read from one book that we use could especially for see,hear,smell,taste and touch,understand,etc... but i read from the other book that we should use can for the 5 senses and other stative verbs..which is which. thanks.

  1. HCaulfield's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2004
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    #2

    Re: can or could..i'm confused

    Personally, I think it's not related to the acting verb at all!

    You use can when you mean you are able to, have the time or the will to, etc.

    You use could when you were/would be able to, had/would have the time or will to, etc.

    I can swim
    means I actually am able to swim.

    I could swim means that I might swim if I felt like it, or trained, or had the time.

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