Modal Verbs Can Could

What is the difference between can and could?
How to use can and could?
What is a modal verb in English grammar?

Modal verbs – can/could


Introduction


1) We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to ask permission, make requests and offers etc.

Modal verbs fall into the category of auxiliary verbs (also known as helping verbs). It means that they are used together with a main verb to give grammatical information and additional meaning to a sentence.
2) The modal verb can has only two forms: can (present) and could (past). We use the modal verb can and the base form of the verb to form sentences. Questions are formed by inverting the subject and can. Negatives are formed with not. Contracted forms are used (can’t/couldn’t).

We can use the modal:

can
could
a) to talk about general abilities or skills in the present.

I can cook and bake.
a) to talk about general abilities or skills in the past.

I could paint beautifully as a kid.
b) to make general statements about what is possible/impossible (not allowed).

It can be very hot in summer. (=Sometimes it is very hot in summer.)
You can’t smoke here.
b) to make general statements about what was possible/impossible (not allowed).

It could be very hot in summer. (=Sometimes it was very hot in summer.)
He couldn’t do it! He is such a sweet guy.
c) to ask for permission (informal).

Can I borrow your pencil, please?
c) to ask for permission (formal)

Could I use your phone, please?
d) to request something (informal)

Can you help me, please?
d) to request something (formal)

Could you show me the way, please?
e) to make offers.

Can I carry these bags for you?
e) to make suggestions.

We could go to the bar if you want.




Don't Stop There!

This is only a small part of the lesson. There is so much more to learn. Continue this lesson by joining The Ultimate English Grammar Course. 

 

Inside the course, you can continue with this lesson. There are dozen more uses and examples not shown here. You will also get access to guided practice with a real English professor, a real-life dialogue conversation,  and dozens of grammar practice problems with answers and PDF/ebook. Just click below to open the full course!

See What Our Students Say...

review5.png
review1.png
review2.png
review6.png
review4.png

Still Not Sure?

  • Learn the most important topics in English grammar

  • Learn how to use English grammar in real conversation examples.

  • Prepare for English grammar exams like  A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, TOEFL, IELTS, and TOEIC

  • Improve your speaking, listening, and writing with English grammar.

  • Beginner | Intermediate | Advanced | All Levels

  • Master English writing with the new bonus English punctuation section

Everything You Need to Know

This course has every English grammar topic. If you want to learn perfect English, this course is for you! No other English course covers as many English Grammar topics. This course includes a full English grammar book with hundreds of practice problems.

Enjoy the new English punctuation course that is included with this already huge English grammar course.

4 courses in 1 | Beginner Grammar | Intermediate Grammar | Advanced Grammar | English Punctuation

Don't waste your time buying dozens of English grammar courses. Everything you need is all in this English Grammar Master Course. This is the only course that teaches you English grammar in use and also shows you how to use it in real English conversation.

Every lesson has dozens of useful English Grammar examples, video lectures, guided practice, real-life English conversation, and worksheet pdfs full of practice problems to help you learn English.

The teacher for this course is a real-life university professor and will answer any questions you have.

Every lesson comes with the following:

  • Dozens of examples with full explanations.

  • Side by side guided instruction with Professional English teacher

  • A real-life conversation dialogue to show the grammar topic in use

  • Plenty of activities and exercises to practice what you learned.

  • A PDF worksheet to download and work offline

This course has 3 sections. Beginner grammar, intermediate grammar, and advanced grammar.

The course now also includes a full English punctuation course in addition to the English grammar course. Learn to master English writing and bring your English to the next level.

With the help of our course, you will master English grammar to improve your English speaking, or to ace those tough English grammar test such as A1, A2, B1, B2, C1,  TOEFL, IETLS, AND TOEIC.

Start learning English the easy way!

Langpill | Learn English | Speaking | Listening | Writing