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6
votes
1answer
166 views

“*can't do and can't be doing*” meaning differences

What is the difference between "I can't do this" and "I can't be doing this" sentences?
-1
votes
1answer
80 views

The 'can' confusion [closed]

Every time there is a lesson on modals I am taught that the modal 'can' is about ability. How should I determine when 'can' literally means ability, and when it is just a request? Does the question ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

present/conditional tense agreement?

Is the following sentence (from a cookbook) grammatically correct? "I am fairly certain that nothing could possibly go wrong when eggs and tomatoes intersect." After this sentence, the author ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

“can give” or “could give” as second verb in a past sentence [closed]

I have the following 2 sentences: "what Pablo said can give you a hint" "what Pablo said could give you a hint" Are they both correct? if no, which one and why? Thank you very much
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Usage of 'can't'

Please look at this sentence: " I can't do the fourth and fifth questions but I have done all the other questions" is this correct? Because in first part present tense is used with the usage of ...
0
votes
4answers
135 views

Does “Could I …?” always sound more polite than “Can I …?”?

For example, if I say Could I borrow your pen? Does it sound more polite than Can I borrow your pen? I am not a native English speaker, but I rarely hear someone says "Could I ...?". ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

If XYZ can or could?

I am drafting an invitation to some clients regarding an event our company is holding. The template I am going off suggests closing the email with: "It will be great if [FIRM] can RSVP by March ...
6
votes
2answers
649 views

Why is it “could” and not “can” in the famous line: “If a face could launch a thousand ships”? [duplicate]

This is from a song lyric If a picture paints a thousand words, Then why can't I paint you? The words will never show the you I've come to know. If a face could launch a thousand ships, ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

When to Use “Could, Would , Will and Can”? [duplicate]

When to Use "Could, Would , Will and Can"? Could you please send me that email? Would you please send me that email? Will you please send me that email? Can you please send me that email? Please ...
1
vote
2answers
773 views

Difference beween requests “can”, “could” and “may”? [duplicate]

We can use can, could, and may for requests and permissions, but is there any difference between the meanings of the following three versions? May I go? Can I go? Could I go?
0
votes
1answer
134 views

Can I use 'could' instead of 'might' in this unreal situation?

Are might and could exchangeable in this unreal situation? If I were in Tom's position, I think I might look for another job.
0
votes
2answers
102 views

Which sentence is wrong? [closed]

Take a look at this part of a conversation: A: I got very wet walking home in the rain last night. |1. You could have taken a taxi. B: Why did you walk? |2. You could take a ...
1
vote
1answer
562 views

could and might to talk about future possibility

I have problem with using could in the future possibilities for example: They have the technology, but unless the government makes stricter laws, car companies ____ do it. With which one should I ...
5
votes
3answers
598 views

If only you could see what I have seen with your eyes

I watch film science fiction The Blade Runer and man says this sentence. he is holding eye in his hand. I see in in a subtitle but I am not understanding this meaning. Can my friends in a Language and ...
1
vote
2answers
160 views

Past or present to explain an active state in a past sentence

So, I have a sentence, more or less like this: "Gil, who HAS a psychokinesis ability, studied math yesterday." or "Gil, who CAN move things without touching them, studied math ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Are “should've”, “could've”, etc. valid short forms of “should have”, “could have”?

This is interesting - if I write "should've" (for "should have"), my spell checker underlines the word. Same happens if I do "could've" (for "could have"). I use these forms but I'm starting to ...
1
vote
1answer
10k views

Meaning of the phrase “I could tell” [closed]

Context: I was so happy I felt tears starting in my eyes, and then she up and hugged me. I think she could tell.
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Is it incorrect to say “If you could”?

I tend to use the following construction often in my e-mails: It would be great if you could... However my German colleague repeatedly reminds me that according to the rules he was taught, using ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is the structure “can have verb-ed” possible?

I have seen and heard sentences like these: He could have gone too far. John can't have eaten all the cake. But I don't seem to encounter this structure: She can have done the work. I ...
1
vote
3answers
956 views

“Can I have one apple from your box?” vs “Could I have one apple from your box?” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I was doing some reading on usage of can and could. I understand that can is used when asking for ability, and could for willingness. I ...
6
votes
2answers
19k views

“Can” vs. “could” in asking a question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I am a little bit confused about asking a question: Can you please tell me my next work? or Could you please tell me my next ...
7
votes
4answers
18k views

Is either “can” or “could” more polite? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I wonder which of the following is more polite: Can you please change my email address? Could you please change my email ...
6
votes
3answers
26k views

When should we use “can”, “could”, “will”, “would”? [duplicate]

Most of the people says I wish I could, I wish you would. Can't we use I wish I can, I wish you will? I'd like to know what the main difference between the usage of can/will and could/would is.
38
votes
6answers
95k views

When do I use “can” or “could”?

When should I use can? When should I use could? What is right under what context?