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08/01/2021

Can vs could grammar?

Can vs could grammar?

Can, like could and would, is used to ask a polite question, but can is only used to ask permission to do or say something (“Can I borrow your car?” “Can I get you something to drink?”). Could is the past tense of can, but it also has uses apart from that–and that is where the confusion lies.

Could you VS would you?

But I would suppose that “would” is more polite, because it expresses the idea of probability, and of willingness, and of the desire that something be done, whereas “could” is more in the realm of ability (yes I can). And according to the American Heritage Dictionary, “would” is used to make a polite request.

Would U be rude?

Could you tell me the way to the station? literally you are asking if the person knows the way to the station and can tell you. As a question it is implied that you are hoping for the answer, but permission or whether the person wishes to answer is not addressed. As such, using would is more polite.

Is Would you mind polite?

An obvious place to start is requesting – asking politely for things or for help. (It’s obviously a good idea to sound polite and pleasant if you want something from someone!) To be even more polite, you might say, Would you mind…? (‘Would’ sounds a little less sure than ‘do’):

Can you rude?

Using can instead of may isn’t necessarily rude, though there are times when may is considered more polite. It depends on the context. Can refers to ability. May could be used to request permission or to express a possibility.