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6 votes

I could hear something rattling/rattle

Certainly (4) is grammatical, and can be proved by a counterexample: Last night I could hear the clock [on the town hall] strike two, but by three the wind was in the wrong direction. That is, the ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How many legitimate uses of "could of" / "would of" / "should of" are there?

Essentially, words are really made of sounds and not letters. The weak forms of have and of are homophones and can both be pronounced as /əv/—or in rapid speech as just /ə/ or /v/: /'ʃəd əv '...
3 votes

How to use 'could'

Could refers, in this sense, to possibility or capability. Using "…before I finished…" also makes sense, as it would clearly be what happened, but "…before I could…" means that it was not just before ...
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2 votes
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what happened vs what could have happened?

Well, 'could' indicates a possibility. e.g. "I'm so glad you're home safe, I couldn't sleep thinking about what could have happened." or "Why did you cross the road without looking? Did you even ...
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2 votes

first conditional could modal

If there is no strict definition, everyone could understand migration slightly differently. It's a bit awkward to parse. I think the key here is potential confusion on two separate points, creating ...
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2 votes

What does it mean "From what could only have"?

It means that the shard of glass could not conceivably have come from anything other than a Heineken (bottle) - i.e. the author is convinced the shard originated from a shattered Heineken bottle. As ...
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2 votes

Avoiding "was able to be" in the passive voice

You are referencing the wrong sense of could (single achievements in the past) in your dictionary. Your sentence uses could in its sense of past (or reported) ability—in the same way that we use can ...
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1 vote
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"Could have + past participle" in questions

Your book doesn't tell the whole story. Could have generally has its counterfactual meaning if it follows a counterfactual conditional (though that conditional is not always explicit). eg You could ...
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1 vote

Could you please find below details VS Please find below details

Main focus of question: When using "please" to soften an imperative sentence, please alone is enough, in modern usage: Please consult the owner's manual. Adding "Could you" ...
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1 vote
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could have done it

Of your four options, the first one sounds most natural, the second isn't bad (but is a split infinitive), the third sounds awkward, and the fourth seems to need another comma before "really.&...
1 vote

“I could have loved you”

What does “I could have loved you” mean? It means "There was a time/occasion (in the past) when the possibility of my being able to love you existed." However, it carries the implication ...
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1 vote

Can vs Could usage differences

But I learnt could is also used for hypothetical forms also. Why can’t we use “could” here in hypothetical sense or to show possibility? Because when you said "he goes to London" you ...
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1 vote

"could" possibility for present

The first two sentences are quite normal, and their usual reading would be with the epistemic reading of "could" rather than the deontic. In other words, they are about the speaker's knowledge, not ...
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1 vote

"Could": past and conditional question

Is Ben talking about the past? Or is he offering his grandma for tomorrow? I deduce the following from your questions: If Ben was talking about the past, then the sentence would accompany an ...
1 vote

Could - was able to

Well, the first point is that he did say it. Language is what it is, not what some people think it should be. I agree that I find it a bit odd. But I found that I could pull the trigger is to me ...
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1 vote

Meaning of "could" in a question. Implied condition

It means that it is possible. Of course every possibility depends on a series of assumptions, which might be implicit. You could be a thief. It is possible. I don't know if you are. If you steal ...
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1 vote

Meaning of "could" in these sentences

In line with my comment to Karlomanio, I think "could" can express past possibility (not past ability) in that sentence. What I find confusing in Swan (notice I seem to have a different edition) is ...
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1 vote

Meaning of "could" in these sentences

Very good observation. You have discovered the two different meanings of "could". One is conditional: It could be quite frightening if you were alone in our big old house. It has the condition ...
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1 vote

The rebels [could / were able to] draw on the support of over 20,000 soldiers

Let's say the rebels had convinced 20k soldiers that their cause was a noble one but told them to not say anything and just continue to pretend to be loyal soldiers. In this case, the rebels could ...
1 vote
Accepted

In this sentence, "could" what meaning does it have?

Could is conditional mood. It exists outside of time (as a hypothetical), but it could be a possibility that has closed (but then we would have seen could have create-d). However, in this case it is ...
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1 vote
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Speculating about past using could

Capitalize "could" and "messi" and you're good.
1 vote

Is it past tense or present tense after the word "could"?

Example 1 is correct. Modal verbs (could/would) are followed by the bare infinitive of the verb (without the "to" particle) in this type of construction. "All the MODAL VERBS except ”ought, dare and ...
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1 vote

Could you please update something in a way

"Could you please update your resume so it will include your most recent experience?" "Could you please update the project plan so it will reflect last month's delays?" These work fine. You can also ...
1 vote

I could hear something rattling/rattle

1 Someone laughed (a fact). I could hear it. 2 Someone was laughing. I could hear it. You can connect hear and all verbs of perception with accusative + infinitive when you merely want to state the ...
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1 vote

Grammar correctness of "could" sentence

I agree with your first and last, but I think the modal form can change in reported speech depending on the sequence or simultaneity of events. The asking is happening now and so is the knocking: ...
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1 vote
Accepted

How does Should/Could/Might/... affect the following verbs

The meaning is almost certainly that the "focus" is still within the scope of "should", so it takes the infinitive just like "avoid". It is possible to come up with a superficially similar example, ...
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1 vote

I don't understand what is wrong with this sentence. Can anyone help?

I'm with you. I see nothing wrong with the sentence if said with the intonation indicated with the comma. Then the sentence structure is as indicated here: [The bank manager was told not to hold ...
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1 vote

Couldn't and would

Couldn't to can't: no effective difference. "couldn't" is talking about a hypothetical scenario, "can't" is more about a real scenario, but the effective message is the same. Would to will: "would" ...
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1 vote

Could vs c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶n̶'̶t̶ may not?

Because could not does not mean may not. If you say "it could not be dead," it means that it is definitely alive. If you say "it may not be dead," it means there is a possibility that it is alive. ...
1 vote

Does "Could I ...?" always sound more polite than "Can I ...?"?

Could is a little more polite than can, since it is a conditional verb. There is an implication of it relying on unspoken conditions being met. Since those conditions are in the hands of the person ...

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