English Modal Verbs Could, How to Use Modal Verbs in English
THE MODALS VERB ‘COULD’
In English, could is the past tense of the mood. Can mode is used in two different ways; can, simple present tense and could, past tense. Could use it to talk about our past talents, possibilities, and skills that have been going on for a while. Instead of using can to express our requests and requests in a polite manner, we could use. In the sentence, could is written after the subject and the verb after it is simple. After the negative sentences, the not is written after could, we could shorten as couldn’t.
In question sentences, could was replaced by the subject and written at the beginning of the sentence.
Ability: Could be used when talking about our past talents. If we make a negative sentence, it means that in the past we’re incompetent about that topic. In question sentences, we can use permission, requests in a polite language.
- 20 years ago, when I was young, I couldn’t sleep early.
- I could barely walk when I was a baby.
- Could you ever excited when you took the exams?
- I couldn’t draw pictures in high school.
Possibility; Also could used to refer to past possibilities.
- We could have been friends with him, but his family moved from this city to another city.
- If you’d come with me, we could have had fun.
In addition, we could use it to dedicate unrealized actions while it was possible to happen in the past.
- You could have told me, but I couldn’t help you because you didn’t.
- I could have passed the exam, but I never worked.
- I could be honest with you if I wasn’t scared.
Be able to: can is used in simple present tense mode, and could in past-time mode. There is also ‘be able to’ which adds the same meaning to the sentence with ‘can’. Be able to, modals and times are used instead of can mode. The verb here is conjugated according to time and the verb after it is used in a simple way. At the same time, ‘be able to’ is used for one-off skills.
You are able to join the school club.
Modals of Ability
- I could play a guitar when I was a child
- I could smell something burning.
Modals of Suggestion
- I could help you with Spanish.
- They could go to the movies if you are interested.
Modals of Possibility
- A lof of crime could be prevented.
- You could have called first.
Modals of Request
- Could you hand me the pencil?
- Could I go to the park?
Modals of Permission
- Could I borrow your notebook?
- Could I speak to Mary?