September 28, 2023

Could (Modal Verb) – Use of Could

Could (Modal Verb)

‘Could’ (modal verb) is used to ask questions politely,

Could you help me? Could you suggest me regarding my career?
Could you take me to the principal right now? Could I use your laptop for a while?
Could you help me in solving the sums? Could I see your books which are kept on the table?
Could you go with me there? Could I take your food?
Could you bring my mobile from there? Could you solve this sum for me?

Asking something politely we use also could (Modal verb)

Could I have your laptop? Could I have your bag?
Could I have your comb? Could I have your gold chain?
Could I have your smartphone? Could I have your car’s key?
Could I have your diary? Could I have your watch?

Could (Modal Verb) is used in Indirect speech

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
She said,’ I can beat him. She said that she could beat him.
He said to me,’ they can help the poor. He told me that they could help the poor.
Rahul said to him,’ you can win the match. Rahul told him that he could win the match.

‘Could’ is used in the past. It is past of can. It is used to express past abilities that existed in past time

In my childhood, I could beat him. Last year, she could lend money.
In my adolescence, I could run fast. She could argue with him yesterday night.
I could read anything on mobile and book without spectacles till last year. He couldn’t attend the meeting today.
I couldn’t make it on time yesterday night. I could not complete my project at night.  
She couldn’t help him when he borrowed money. My brother could solve the Sudoku puzzle at the age of six.


Could (Modal verb) express possibility or uncertainty:

Could (possibility) is used to express the unreal situation in the present. Examples

You could come on time if you got up early. You could pass the exams. But you were sick.
Who is he with, Eva? He could be her husband. (Possibly he is) What’s her age?  She could be eighteen. (Possibly she is)
If I had money, I could buy a Ferrari car.   (possibility) If she came to me, I could propose to her.    (Possibility)
If he had time, he could go to his uncle’s home.  (possibility) If you got that job, you could earn a lot there.
If she wanted to go abroad, she could get a loan. If your brother joined Army, he couldn’t disappoint your father.
If Raju joined Delhi Police, he could take the bribe. If he asked for money, he could deposit it into the hospital.

When a person has a desire to do something

I wish I could beat him. I wish I could play the guitar.
I wish I could sing better. I wish I could get selected in government.
I wish I could fly in the sky. I wish I could learn the German language.
I wish I could make you understand. I wish I could be a billionaire

Note: “would” is also used in the place of “could.”

Exercise : 

 Choose suitable auxiliary verbs:

 ……….. you help me in solving the sums? (can/could)

 ………  you go with me there for a while? (can/could)

 ………. I have your ink pen?   (could/can)

 …………. I have his car?   (could/can)

He says that they ……. beat me.   (can/could)

My sister said that he ……… not pass the examination.    (can/could)

 I …….. drive and read properly last year.   (can/could)

I ……… beat him in the seventh standard.   (can/could)

He has got his salary today. He ….. make the payment now.    (can/could)

My grandfather …….. do yoga perfectly at a young age.   (can/could)

She …….. play the piano at the age of eight.   (can/could)

She ……. Speak the truth when I asked her. (can/could)

She……… hide the truth if someone asks.   (can/could)

Who is with this beautiful lady? He …….. be her husband.     (can/could)

He …….. be selected in the interview if he reached on time.    (can/could)

If he had money, he …….. buy a Ferrari car.   (can/could)

If you wanted to meet him, you …… phone him.  (can/could)

I wish, I …….. buy a Ferrari car.     (can/would)

If you had a car, you ……. Reach there before him. (can/could)

She wishes she ……… help the poor.   (can/could)

69 thoughts on “Could (Modal Verb) – Use of Could

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