Student or Learner
Can we use could in present tense, like we use would. I suppose that would be alright. I am hoping you could do that.
Some people say only 'can' is appropriate because 'I am hoping' is present tense. I wonder why... couldn't could in this instance also mean 'would be able to' instead of the past tense of can? I am hoping you'd be able to/could do that.
"Could you do that for me?" - Present tense, conditional. (Note, present conditional' normally implies 'would', but 'could' is the conditional mood of 'can'.
As you say, 'could' can also be the past tense of 'can', but it's not in this case.
"Since he could work for me yesterday, I hired him." (Past simple)
"If you could work for me today, I'll hire you." (Present / future).