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    • Join Date: Mar 2005
    • Posts: 2
    #1

    modal auxiliary 'could'

    1. She couldn't have seen him yesterday. Impossibility (past)
    He's on holiday in Malta.

    2. I couldn't open the door. Inability

    3. Could you say that again? Request

    4. We could either go to the pub or we could get a take-away. Possibility

    Are there specific phrases to name a communicative function?

    They aren't set in stone as absolute terms, but generally people tend to use the same words or similar ones.
    Last edited by Tdol; 27-Apr-2005 at 20:36.

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #2

    Re: modal auxiliary 'could'

    Welcome

    I would agree with your assumption.

    . . . couldn't have . . . . (impossibility)
    . . . couldn't. . . . (inability)
    Could you . . . ? (request)
    . . . could either . . . or I could . . . . (possibility)

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