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  1. #1

    Arrow could & would? how to use them properly?

    hi, teachers.

    can you teach me how to use properly the could & would words?

    thanks in advance.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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

    Re: could & would? how to use them properly?

    Degree of Politeness Auxiliary
    somewhat polite: "Could you tell me ...?"
    quite polite: "Would you tell me ...?"

    The modal auxiliary could is used

    [1] to express an ability in the past:
    ex: I could always beat you at tennis when we were kids.

    [2] to express past or future permission:
    ex: Could I bury my cat in your back yard?

    [3] to express present possibility:
    ex: We could always spend the afternoon just sitting around talking.

    [4] to express possibility or ability in contingent circumstances:
    ex: If he studied harder, he could pass this course.

    Note that, in expressing ability, can and could frequently also imply willingness: Can/Could you help me with my homework?

    "could" Source

    The modal auxiliary would is used

    [1] to express willingness:
    ex: Would you please take off your hat?

    [2] to express insistence (rather rare, and with a strong stress on the word "would"):
    ex: Now you've ruined everything. You would act that way.

    [3] to express characteristic activity:
    ex: After work, he would walk to his home in West Hartford. <customarily>
    ex: She would cause the whole family to be late, every time. <causal>

    [4] to express a hypothetical meaning:
    ex: My cocker spaniel would weigh a ton if I let her eat what she wants.

    [5] to express a sense of probability:
    ex: I hear a whistle. That would be the five o'clock train.

    "would" Source

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