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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 7
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    tell me please!

    dear sir ,

    i want you tell the difference between these statements:

    1. could you stay with me?
    can you speak english?

    i saw sometimes "could" is used as a present form ,so why does it become so?

    2. what is the difference between:

    abandon and desert?

    throw away and discard?

  1. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
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    Re: tell me please!

    There are two coulds and two cans.

    "could" expresses a polite request:

    1a. Could you stay with me?

    "could" has an informal form, "can":

    1b. Could you stay? (formal)
    1c. Can you stay? (informal)

    "could" means, ability. It has a present form and a past form:

    2a. Can you speak English? (Present tense)
    2b. Could you speak English when you were young? (Past tense)

    In short,

    To express a polite request: could (formal), can (informal)
    To express an ability: could (past tense), can (present tense)

    Have you tried It's a free online dictionary.


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