0

Should and Could. Both are used to indicate the possibility of a situation then what is the difference?

0

3 Answers 3

2

Should means something is morally right. Could means something is possible.

1
  • In some cases, yes. In others, no. Deontic ("moral") should is more common than epistemic ("logical"), true; but could is normally about abilities and willingness, rather than logical possibilities. Could is the one you use in requests Could you come help me move Thursday? Jun 22, 2015 at 19:16
2

"should" often implies obligation, just the same as "must", but tones it down. In regular conversations, "should" is common, unless spoken with authority.

"could" implies possibility or a soft recommendation.

Examples:

You should (must) apply for the position.
You could (you possibly can, or have what it takes to) apply for the position.

1
  • 2
    Like the 'soft recommendation'. Jun 22, 2015 at 19:27
0

Although commonly heard "could you help me?", it invites the pedant's response, "I could but I won't." Speaking and writing clearly are difficult. It is a good rule to say what one means. A bank robber doesn't ask, "could you put the money in the bag?" All this aside, I recognize "could" is used to make a request more gentle. But that can be accomplished without murdering the language, "would you be kind enough to ......?"

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.