could - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “could”

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could

 us   /kʊd, kəd/

could (CAN)

past simple of can : You said we could watch television when we finished our homework. When I was younger I could stay up all night and then go to work.

could

modal verb  us   /kʊd, kəd/

could modal verb (ASK PERMISSION)

(present tense could) used as a more polite form of can when asking for permission: Could I speak to Mr. Harley, please?

could modal verb (REQUEST)

(present tense could) used as a more polite form of can when making a request: Could you lend me $5?

could modal verb (BE POSSIBLE)

used to express possibility, esp. slight or uncertain possibility: A lot of these problems could be prevented. It could be days before we hear from her. I could have been an actor.

could modal verb (SUGGEST)

(present tense could) used for making a suggestion: We could go to the movies.

could modal verb (SHOULD)

(present tense could) used for saying what you think someone else should do: You could try to look a little more enthusiastic.
Translations of “could”
in Arabic يُمكِن, يَسْتَطيع, هَل بالإمْكان؟…
in Korean “can”의 과거형, 허락을 구할때 “can”보다 공손한 표현으로 “could”가 쓰임, 가능성이 있음을 표현할 때 쓰임…
in Malaysian boleh, mungkin…
in French pouvoir…
in Turkish can' fiilinin geçmiş zaman hali, bir şeyin olma olasılığını anlatmada kullanılır, bir şeyi nazikçe istemede veya sormada kullanılır…
in Italian usato come passato semplice di “can” per esprimere capacità o permesso al passato, usato come forma più gentile di “can” per chiedere permesso di fare qualcosa, usato per esprimere ciò che è possibile o che potrebbe accadere…
in Chinese (Traditional) 能, (表示能夠或允許)能,可以…
in Russian прош. вр. гл. can, может, мог бы…
in Polish mógł itp., można było, może…
in Vietnamese chỉ sự cho phép, sự bày tỏ khả năng…
in Spanish pasado del verbo ‘‘poder’’, para expresar posibilidad…
in Portuguese passado de “can”, forma educada de “can” quando usado para pedir algo, poderia…
in Thai กริยาช่องที่ 2 ของกริยาช่วย can, สามารถ…
in German pret. von ‘können‘, Konjunktiv von ‘können‘…
in Catalan passat de “can”, s’utilitza per a expressar el que algú sabia, o el que algú o alguna cosa podia fer…
in Japanese “can” の過去形, (許可を求める疑問文で、”can” よりも丁寧)~してもよろしいですか, (推量を表す)~かもしれない…
in Indonesian dapat, mungkin…
in Chinese (Simplified) 能, (表示能够或允许)能,可以…
(Definition of could from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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