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    #1

    Modal verbs

    I am some times in a fix when to use could in stead can. For example:
    I can buy a car next year.
    I could buy a car next year.
    Which one is appropriate and why?
    Is there a good site where I can study the application of modal verbs in greater detail?

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    #2

    Re: Modal verbs

    "Can" is more defnite than could.

    I'm saving so that I can buy a new car next year.

    If I started saving I could buy a new car next year.

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    #3

    Exclamation Re: Modal verbs

    This means I can use can or could any where I like? Can I hear from Anglika or Tdol?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Modal verbs

    Use "could" if you have an "if" associated with it. Use "could" if there is some condition that must be satisfied.

    If I save enough, I could buy a car.
    I could go with you to the store, if you want me to.

    "Can" does not have a condition. I can buy a car right now.

  2. paochai01's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Modal verbs

    Does that mean we couldn't use 'could' without conditionals?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Modal verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by paochai01 View Post
    Does that mean we couldn't use 'could' without conditionals?
    You can use it if the conditional is understood.

    We may need someone to work a double shift tonight.
    I could do it. (Unstated: If it turns out that you do need this. or If no one else volunteers)

    And of course, it's the past of "can" but you're not talking about that, right?

  4. paochai01's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Modal verbs

    You can use it if the conditional is understood.

    We may need someone to work a double shift tonight.
    I could do it. (Unstated: If it turns out that you do need this. or If no one else volunteers)

    ------
    If the conditional is understood.
    Got it!! Thanks!!

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