English Grammar : Auxiliary Verb 'Could'

Use of Auxiliary Verb 'Could' in English Grammar

Uses of Auxiliary Verb "COULD"

'Could' is a modal verb used as a more polite way of making a request or asking for permission, to express uncertain possibility, to make a suggestion or offer.

'Could' is a past-tense version of can, indicating what someone or something was able to do in the past.

'Could' is not a past form of Can, but a past equivalent of can. It is used for the action in the past to express possibility / ability of action.
It is used in :
• Simple present/past/future tense (could)
• Simple present continuous tense (could be)
• Future continuous tense (could be)
We use 'could' to describe actions or outcomes that are possible or likely.
  • Could it be true?
  • • It could be your boss calling.
  • • This plan could really work well.
  • • I think it could rain any minute.
  • • All of them could ride on the boat.
  • • You could always come at our house.
  • • He could be in big trouble over this.
  • • Alex could be the one who stole the money.
  • • The letter could have been written in the morning.
  • • Heavy rain could cause the river to flood the Village.
Past ability:
We use 'could' to describes an ability that someone had in the past.
  • • I could swim when I was young.
  • • You could see the boat sinking.
  • • They could tell she was nervous.
  • • I could run ten miles in my twenties.
  • • I could speak Chinese when I was a kid.
  • • My grandfather could speak six languages.
  • • Simran could ski like a pro by the age of 11.
We use 'could' to suggest a possible course of action.
  • • You could go out for relax.
  • • You could spend your vacation in Dubai.
  • • You could see a movie or go out to dinner.
  • • We could go out for pizza after work on Saturday.
  • • I could help you with English if you are interested.
  • • If you want,we could go out for dinner after school.
  • • You could always call me every week if it is necessary.
We use 'could' more politely to make a general request.
  • Could I have some tea?
  • Could you do me a favour?
  • Could you please be quiet?
  • Could I borrow your Magazine?
  • Could I have something to eat?
  • Could you help me with this project?
  • Could you send me a quotation, please?
  • Could I use your laptop to email my boss?
  • Could you tell me where the Cafe is, please?
We use 'could' to ask someone for permission to do something more politely.
  • Could we go home now?
  • • You could borrow my Jecket.
  • Could I get you more Coffee?
  • Could I take this Laptop with me?
  • Could you please let me pass you?
  • Could we invite Riya to come with us?
  • • Excuse me, could I just ask you something?
We use 'could' to make an offer to do something for someone.
  • Could I give you a ride home?
  • Could I help you in your project?
  • Could I give you a company for dinner?
  • Could we help you find what you need?
We use 'could' if we want to describe what we would be able to do under a certain condition.
  • • If we moved to Goa, I could surf every day.
  • • I could visit many places if I had more time.
  • • You could get there in time if you hurried up.
  • • Even if I had more time, I couldn’t study well.
  • • If you called me, I could find you some solution.
  • • If I had more time, I could travel around the world.
  • • If I got that promotion, I could afford a new house!
  • • We could go on the trip if I didn't have to work this weekend.
Types of Auxiliary Verbs
(1) Auxiliary–cum–verbs.

"Auxiliary-cum-verbs" are :

These 11 auxiliaries are also used as verbs, therefore, they are called Auxiliary–cum–verbs. These are used to form Tenses. ( Please refer Tense Table).

(2) Pure Auxiliary verbs..

These 20 auxiliaries only support normal verbs, therefore, they are called Pure Auxiliary Verbs. They are also called Models or Model Auxiliary Verbs.

Related Topics :
Types of Noun in English Language
Types of Pronoun in English Language
Types of Verb in English Language
Types of Adverb in English Language
Types of Adjective in English Language
Kinds of Preposition in English Language
Types of Conjunction in English Language
Uses of Interjection words in English Language


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