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Thread: Could / Can

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Re: Could / Can

    Quote Originally Posted by jack
    So this is not incorrect right?
    1. Could I borrow that from you? ('Could' is more polite than 'can' but is this a conditional question?)

    Or should it be
    2. Could I burrow that from you if you don't need it. (Does it have to be conditional?)
    I think you've misunderstood. Allow me to rephrase: 'could' is not the polite form of 'can'. 'could' is used with polite requests, whereas 'can' expresses ability. Both 1. and 2. are polite requests.

  2. #22
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    Re: Could / Can

    Both 1. and 2. are polite requests.
    So if you're using 'could' for polite requests, it doesn't have to be conditional right?

    Are these correct? What do they mean?
    1. I could do that for you. (Suggestion? Is this correct? Does it have to be conditional? If so, why?)

    2. I can do that for you. (Ability?)

    4. Don't worry, he could do that for you. (Does this mean suggestion and possibility? If I use 'could' does it have to be conditional here? If so, why?)
    5. Don't worry, he can do that for you. (Does this mean fact and ability?)

    6. Could you do this for me? That would be great. (Is 'could' functioning as politeness here? What is 'would' acting as?
    7. Couldyou do this for me? That will be great. (What does 'will' here mean?)
    What do #6 and #7 mean?
    Last edited by jack; 24-Nov-2004 at 11:12.

  3. #23
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    Re: Could / Can

    Could someone help me with the post above? Thanks.

    What do these mean?
    1. The dreams could never come true. (There is a possibility that it might come ture? Or could it also mean in the past that your dreams couldn't come true?)
    2. The dreams can never come true. (Fact?)

    Scenario:
    A: Do you know what does this mean?

    B:
    3. It can mean this.
    4. It could mean this.

    What does #3 and #4 mean? Does can mean 'possibility'? And 'could' mean possibility as well but has more possibility? Does it matter which one you use then?

    What do these mean?
    5. I could go there but it would take too long.
    6. I could go there but it will take too long.

    7. I could draw for you if you want.
    8. I can draw for you if you want.

    9. Who would want this if you could get this?
    10. Who would want this if you can get this?

    11. If you come here to do this, can you leave right now?
    11. If you come here to do this, could you leave right now?
    Last edited by jack; 30-Nov-2004 at 11:51.

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