Tag Archives: Could for ability and possibility

Grammar for Sweet tooth (Ch6) – the use of ‘could’

THE USE OF COULD

1. Look at this extract from Sweet tooth (Ch6)

She could hear Links breathing.

2. How to use ‘could’.

One way to use ‘could’ is to talk about ability in the past; for example, ‘He could run fast when he was young.’ Another way to use ‘could’ is to talk about a possibility; for example ‘Take an umbrella – it could rain later.’ Look at the extract from Sweet tooth above. How is ‘could’ being used in it?

3. Look at these sentences. Is could being used to talk about past ability or possibility?

a. I couldn’t find his home number so I called him on his mobile.

b. He isn’t answering his mobile. Could he be asleep?

c. He could be asleep so wait and call him later.

d. When I spoke to him, the line wasn’t clear and I couldn’t hear what he said.

e. Could you understand anything that he said?

f. I could only understand every second word!

 

 

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