• English grammar
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  • 1 English alphabet
  • 2 English pronunciation and phonetics [0/3]
  • 3 English articles [0/9]
  • 4 English pronouns [0/39]
  • 4.1 English personal pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.2 English impersonal pronouns (it, there, ...) [0/4]
  • 4.3 English object pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.4 English possessive pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.5 English reflexive pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.6 English reciprocal pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.7 English demonstrative pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.8 English relative pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.9 English indefinite pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.10 English interrogative pronouns [0/4]
  • 5 English nouns [0/16]
  • 6 English adjectives [0/38]
  • 6.1 Adjectives of quality in English [0/4]
  • 6.2 Demonstrative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.4 Quantity adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.5 Interrogative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in English [0/8]
  • 6.7 Comparatives and superlatives [0/10]
  • 7 English adverbs [0/18]
  • 7.1 Position of adverbs in English [0/2]
  • 7.2 Adverbs of manner in English [0/2]
  • 7.3 Adverbs of place in English [0/2]
  • 7.4 Adverbs of time in English [0/2]
  • 7.5 Adverbs of quantity in English [0/2]
  • 7.6 Adverbs of frequency in English [0/2]
  • 7.7 Adverbs of degree in English [0/2]
  • 7.8 Adverbs of probability and certainty in English [0/2]
  • 7.9 Adverbs of opinion and observation in English [0/2]
  • 8 English prepositions [0/12]
  • 9 English verbs [0/122]
  • 9.1 Present tenses in English [0/29]
  • Fill in the correct present tense in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise about all present tenses in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Mixed present tenses exercise in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Practice all the English present tenses (Score -/-)Free
  • 9.1.1 Present simple tense in English [0/5]
  • 9.1.2 Present continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.3 Present simple vs present continuous in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.4 Present perfect tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.5 Present perfect continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.6 Difference past simple and present perfect in English [0/4]
  • 9.2 Past tenses in English [0/20]
  • 9.3 Future tenses in English [0/21]
  • 9.4 Auxiliary verbs in English [0/9]
  • 9.5 Present participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.6 Past participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.7 Modal verbs in English [0/11]
  • 9.8 Phrasal verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.9 Regular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.10 Irregular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.11 Gerund (-ing form) in English [0/8]
  • 9.12 Infinitive verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.13 Imperative in English [0/2]
  • 9.14 Reported speech in English [0/2]
  • 9.15 Active and passive voice in English [0/2]
  • 10 English conditionals [0/20]
  • Can or could in English

    Exercises

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    1. Practice the modal verbs can and could Score -/-
    2. Exercise modal verbs can and could Score -/-

    In this chapter the difference between the modal verbs 'can' and 'could' will be explained. These verbs are always used together with another verb. 

    1) Usage of the English modal verb can

    'Can' is a modal verb that can be used to express ability, permission, possibility, request or offer. The following tables show the usage of the modal verb 'can' 

    Use Example
    Abiliity I can dance. 
    Permission Can I go to my friends today?
    Possibility  It can be very hot in the summer here. 
    Request  Can you help me? 
    Offer  Can we help you?

    2) Usage or the English modal verb could

    'Could' is a modal verb that can be used to express ability, permission, possibility, request or offer.The following tables show the usage of the modal verb 'could'. 

    Use Example
    Ability I could speak English. 
    Permission He could go to the city center his mom said. 
    Possibility It could be a nice party tomorrow. 
    Request Could you give me the paper, please? 
    Offer I could help you, if you want. 

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    Difference between can and could

    'Could' is a form of the verb 'can' and they seem to be used the same way in the same situations. But these forms are not always used the same.'Could' is considered to be more polite than 'can'. 

    • Can I ask you a question?
    • Could I ask you a question?

    The table below shows the different uses of the verbs and shows what the difference between 'can' and 'could' is. 

    Situation Examples Can vs. could 
    Ability
    • She can speak French. 
    • She could speak French. 
    When talking about abilities, 'can' is used for the present or future and 'could' is used for the past. 
    Permission
    • Can I borrow your pants?
    • Could I borrow you pants?
    'Can' and 'could' can both be used to ask or give permission, but 'could' is more polite. 
    Possibility
    • It can be very hot in the summer. 
    • It could be very hot in the summer. 

    'Can' is used to make general statements and 'could' is used for:

    • The past 
    • To show something is possible in the future. 
    • To show that something was possible in the past, but did not happen. 
    Request
    • Can you get my jacket?
    • Could you get my jacket?
    To use 'could' to do a request is more polite than to use 'can'. 
    Offer
    • Can we help you with those bags?
    • I could help you with those bags. 
    Normally 'can I...' is used to make offers, but sometimes 'I can...'  or 'I could...'  are used. 

    Practice your knowledge of 'can' and 'could' with the following exercises.