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    #1

    could and would in the present

    hello

    can "could" any one explains to me the following?

    "would" I know it is the past form of "will" but how to use it in the present tense

    the same thing with "could"

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could and would in the present

    Quote Originally Posted by aburosse View Post
    Hello

    Can "could" any one anyone explains to me the following?

    "Would" I know it is the past form of "will" but how to should I use it in the present tense?

    I have
    the same thing question with "could".
    I'm not sure about defining "would" as the past of "will".

    I would like to have some dinner = present tense.
    He would have gone swimming if it had been warmer = past tense.

    I could go swimming this afternoon but I'll probably just stay at home = present/future
    Could you pass the salt? = present (note: this should say "Please pass the salt"!)
    I could have got a degree if I'd gone to university = past tense

    With modals, context is vital. Actually, context is vital all the time when talking about grammar.

    Note: please ensure you start every new sentence with a capital letter.
    "Anyone" is one word and does not take the third person singular form of a verb in the interrogative.

    Can anyone help me?
    If anyone helps me today, I'll be very grateful.

    Did anyone go to the party last night?
    If anyone goes to the party tonight, I'll be very surprised.

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    #3

    Re: could and would in the present

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm not sure about defining "would" as the past of "will".

    I would like to have some dinner = present tense.
    He would have gone swimming if it had been warmer = past tense.

    I could go swimming this afternoon but I'll probably just stay at home = present/future
    Could you pass the salt? = present (note: this should say "Please pass the salt"!)
    I could have got a degree if I'd gone to university = past tense

    With modals, context is vital. Actually, context is vital all the time when talking about grammar.

    Note: please ensure you start every new sentence with a capital letter.
    "Anyone" is one word and does not take the third person singular form of a verb in the interrogative.

    Can anyone help me?
    If anyone helps me today, I'll be very grateful.

    Did anyone go to the party last night?
    If anyone goes to the party tonight, I'll be very surprised.
    Thank you for your answer. But is it grammatically correct to say Will you......... ? instead of could you ....... ? as in

    "Could you pass the salt?"
    And what does "will you" / "could you" normally imply?

    Another question;
    For example. If I say "Yesterday we met John and we agreed to have dinner, in the meantime I called my brother to join us. He said that he ( ) arrive at 9 pm".
    What should I put in the space above? (Time of phone call is 6 pm)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: could and would in the present

    Quote Originally Posted by aburosse View Post
    Thank you for your answer. But is it grammatically correct to say Will you......... ? instead of could you ....... ? as in

    "Could you pass the salt?"
    And what does "will you" / "could you" normally imply?

    We say all kinds of things! If you look at the following totally grammatically, then:

    Could you pass the salt? = Were you able to pass the salt at some point in the past?
    Can you pass the salt? = Are you able to pass the salt?
    Would you pass the salt? = Are you prepared to pass the salt if I ask you to?
    Will you pass the salt? = Do you plan to pass the salt at some point in the future?

    Really, the only way of saying what you actually mean is "Please pass me the salt". However, you will hear all of the above and we know exactly what you mean.


    Another question;
    For example. If I say "Yesterday we met John and we agreed to have dinner. In the meantime I called my brother and asked him to join us. He said that he ( ) arrive at 9 pm".
    What should I put in the space above? (Time of phone call is 6 pm)

    What do you think you should put in that space?
    See above.

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    #5

    Re: could and would in the present

    I think "Could arrive" will be fine.

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    #6

    Re: could and would in the present

    If I say "Yesterday we met John and we agreed to have dinner. In the meantime I called my brother and asked him to join us. He said that he ( ) arrive at 9 pm".
    What should I put in the space above? (Time of phone call is 6 pm)

    Quote Originally Posted by aburosse View Post
    I think "Could arrive" will be fine.
    "Could" is possible. If he says that he could arrive at 9pm (ie he said "I could arrive at 9pm") he is saying that there is a possibility that he might be able to arrive at 9pm.

    However, it's far more likely that he said that he would arrive at 9pm. In that case, what he actually said was "I will arrive at 9pm" which, in reported speech, becomes "He said he would arrive at 9pm".

    Timing is very relevant.

    If it is now 8pm and John says "I will arrive at 9pm" then in reported speech that becomes "He said he will arrive at 9pm".

    It is now 9.15pm (and John hasn't arrived). He said, at 8pm, "I will arrive at 9pm." In reported speech that now becomes "He said he would arrive at 9pm".

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