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    #1

    Use of could in past and future both

    Please let me know use of could in past and future tense

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Use of could in past and future both

    Quote Originally Posted by Anil jain View Post
    Please let me know use of could in past and future tense
    When I was young, I could climb trees. Simple past of can.
    If it is sunny tomorrow, we could go to the beach. This is conditional with a future indication. There is no real future tense in English.

    Does this help?
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 27-Jul-2009 at 17:10. Reason: correction

  2. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use of could in past and future both

    Quote Originally Posted by Anil jain View Post
    Please let me know use of could in past and future tense
    May, might and could express uncertainty or possibility. Could isn't used with not in this context.
    It may not rain. I might go out, I don't know. I could get wet!
    This could be the house.

    May have, might have and could have express possibility or uncertainty about past actions.
    Jean might have missed the train. (Perhaps she did)
    He may not have received the letter. (Perhaps he didn't)
    You could have been killed. (It was a possibility)
    David could have won the race if he had tried. (possibility/ability)
    It could have been Sue, I suppose. (uncertainty)

    Couldn't have can be used with comparative adjectives.
    We couldn't have been happier in those days.
    It can also express unwillingness.
    We couldn't have left the dog on its own. (so we didn't)

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Use of could in past and future both

    Quote Originally Posted by mara_ce View Post
    May, might and could express uncertainty or possibility. Could isn't used with not in this context.
    Actually, I think you can use "could" with "not" in this context.
    The weather has been lovely lately. It couldn't possibly rain for our picnic tomorrow!
    The nuance is a bit different from a simple opposite of "It could rain tomorrow" because the speaker, as well as saying "Since the weather has been so nice lately, the possibility of it raining tomorrow is small" is also saying "I don't want it to rain tomorrow!"

  4. mara_ce's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Use of could in past and future both

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Actually, I think you can use "could" with "not" in this context.
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