can vs could | difference & examples

Can vs could || difference & examples?

What the difference is between can vs. could? Very important question it is. We mostly use can and could in our daily conversations. This solves many of our activities, but sometimes we get mixed among them. In this article, we study the complete difference between can and could in detail.

What is can? Can show ability, possibility, permission, offer, and request in the present tense.

Some examples of Can:

1. Ability:

  1. I can jump from the wall.
  2. She can sing songs.
  3. They can play games.
  4. The baby can walk.
  5. I can speak the English language.
  6. She can’t speak perfectly.
  7. They cannot drink in class.

2. Possibility:

  • It can rain tonight.
  • They can be waiting outside.
  • She can be a teacher.
  • They can be players.
  • We can drive a car.
  • He can’t drive a car.
  • They cannot watch the movie.

3. Permission:

  • Can we go out?
  • Can she take part in the competition?
  • Can I come in?
  • Can he leave the class?
  • Can they bring a meal?

 4. Offer:

  • You can join our team.
  • They can have rest.
  • You can have a cup of coffee.
  • I can go for a picnic.
  • She can manage the program.

5. Request:

  • Can you please help me?
  • Can I come in, please?
  • Can we be friends, please?
  • Can they manage the program?
  • Can we drive fast?
  • could is more formal and polite than can in asking permissions:
  • Could I ask a question, please?
  • Could we go home now?

Now let’s talk about could: Could is more formal and polite than can in asking for permissions:

  • Could I ask a question, please?
  • Could we go home now?
  • Could you pass the paper?
  • Could I open the door?
  • Could you find the question?


NOTE: COULD IS THE SAME AS CAN BUT THE DIFFERENCE IS COULD IS USED FOR PAST TENSE

Sometimes we can use could for direct questions also.

e.g.

  • could you pass the salt, please? now here we have used could for a present too.