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    #1

    could/might

    Can I use "could" instead of "might" in the following sentences?

    (suggestion) you might try phoning directory enquiries
    (annoyance) you might at least say you're sorry

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could/might

    Yes

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    #3

    Re: could/might

    My son asked if he could give me back what he owned the following week.

    Is MIGHT possible here in replacement of COULD?

    Thanks.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: could/might

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    My son asked if he could give me back what he owned the following week.Thanks.
    'Might is possible', but 'could' is far more likely these days.

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    #5

    Re: could/might

    Quote Originally Posted by licinio View Post
    My son asked if he could give me back what he owned (owed?)the following week.

    Is MIGHT possible here in replacement of COULD?

    Thanks.
    Yes it is. 'Could' is more common, at least where I come from.

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    #6

    Post Re: could/might

    My son asked if he could give me back what he owned the following week.Thanks.
    both of them are acceptable answers
    but the difference resides in the degree of certainty in your example.
    might shows more degree of certainty than could



  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: could/might

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammadhelmi View Post

    b Both of them are acceptable answers, but the difference resides in the degree of certainty in your example.
    might shows more degree of certainty than could
    Not it doesn't.

    The original question for could was "Can I...?". Though this could just about suggest a question about the speaker's ability/possibilty, it almost certainly requests permission.

    The original quetion for might was " May I ...?" This requests permission.

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    #8

    Re: could/might

    Quote Originally Posted by Mohammadhelmi View Post
    might shows more degree of certainty than could

    This is nonsense. It's not your fault; you were taught it. But I hope you don't teach it and perpetuate the myth.
    In general, you cannot rank the modal verbs in terms of probability.

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