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Could - Couldn't/help

Forum > English only || Bottom

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Could - Couldn't/help
Message from rafil posted on 27-01-2021 at 06:04:21 (D | E | F)
Respected Teacher,
I am feeling difficulty It is difficult for me to understand the use of "could and couldn't".
Please help me about it.
I am very thankful for giving us an excellent platform to improve English.
Thanks in advance for solving my question.

------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 27-01-2021 09:14
Grey



Re: Could - Couldn't/help from lucile83, posted on 27-01-2021 at 14:53:03 (D | E)
Hello,
Could is used in affirmative or interrogative clauses; couldn't is used in negative clauses.
Example:
He could play the piano, but couldn't speak French.
Could you lend me your umbrella, please?



Re: Could - Couldn't/help from gerondif, posted on 27-01-2021 at 18:27:18 (D | E)
Hello
Can is an auxiliary verb meaning :
1) that you can do it physically : I can carry 100 kilos.
2) that you are allowed to do it : You can come in ! (You may come in is more formal)
3) it is used with perception verbs to replace the ing form they don't have :
I can see you ! I can hear you ! I can taste sugar in my soup ! I can feel a stone in my shoe. I can smell something burning.

Could will be either a preterite :
I couldn't do the shopping yesterday but I could go to the post-office.
or a conditional: Could you help me, please ? Yes, I could help you if you asked me.

I just listened to a title by Mark Knopfler (former lead singer od The Dire Straits)which is entitled :"But I used to could" which is grammatically wrong of course ! Working-class language.




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