Unit 29: COULD
Could is a modal verb. Unit 27 shows you how to make correct sentences with it. This unit shows you when you can use it.
EXAMPLE: I suppose he could be at home.
EXAMPLE: It could become a big problem.
EXAMPLE: Surely it could not have got lost in the mail.
EXAMPLE: If I had more money, I could buy a car.
EXAMPLE: I did my best. I could not have tried any harder.
Please could you send me some information about the course.
Could you lend me some money?
EXAMPLE: Could I possibly come and see you next week?
Past tense of can
EXAMPLE: We could not find a seat on the train.
EXAMPLE: In those days, you could drive without a licence.
EXAMPLE: At that time, you could live like a king on twenty dollars a day.
Luckily, I could get in by the back door. It was possible.
Luckily, I was able to get in by the back door. And I did.
also be able to (Unit 36)
We also use could (NOT can) in sentences with a past tense verb before the modal (Unit 63).
They wanted to know if I could help them.
He said that he could not come on Saturday.