2013년 3월 30일 토요일

Dic: some usages of the modal ‘could’


2 [MODAL] You use could to indicate that something sometimes happened.

  • Though he had a temper and could be nasty, it never lasted...
  • He could be very pleasant when he wanted to.
 _CF. can: 4 [MODAL] You use can to indicate that something is true sometimes or is true in some circumstances.
  • ...long-term therapy that can last five years or more...
  • Exercising alone can be boring...
  • Coral can be yellow, blue, or green.
4 [MODAL] You use could to indicate that something is possibly true, or that it may possibly happen. (= might)
  • Doctors told him the disease could have been caused by years of working in smokey clubs...
  • An improvement in living standards could be years away...
6 [MODAL] You use could to talk about a possibility, ability, or opportunity that depends on other conditions.
  • Their hope was that a new and better East Germany could be born...
  • I knew that if I spoke to Myra, I could get her to call my father.

.... Cobuild

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