CAN or COULD | The Difference Between CAN and COULD

CAN or COULD? Learn The Difference Between CAN and COULD in English with examples.

The modals Can and Could are used to do things like talking about ability, asking permission, making requests, and so on.

CAN or COULD| Ability

CAN is used to talk about the ability to do something at a given time in the present or future

Example:

He can speak Chinese fluently.

COULD is used to talk about past time

Example:

I could run 10 miles when I was young.

CAN or COULD |Request

COULD is used as a polite way of telling or asking someone to do something

Example:

Could you lock the door when you leave?

Can is more informal

Example:

Can you take me to the Victoria station?

CAN or COULD | Possibility

CAN is used to make general statements about what is possible

Example:

In Norway, temperatures can be low as -50°C in winter.

COULD is used to show that something is/was possible now or at specific event in the past

Example:

The weather station said temperatures could be as low as -10°C tonight.

CAN or COULD |Asking Permission

CAN is used to ask for permission to do something in informal way

Example:

Can I borrow your car tomorrow?

Could is more formal and polite than can

Example:

Could I choose my own doctor?

CAN or COULD | Talking about things which are allowed

We use can to talk about things which are allowed in the present or future

Example:

You can take a holiday tomorrow if you want.

We use could to talk about things which are allowed in the past

Example:

When I first started this job we could take holiday when we wanted.

CAN or COULD | The Difference Between CAN and COULD

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