Meaning of “could” - Learner’s Dictionary


modal verb uk us strong /kʊd/ weak /kəd/

A2 used as the past form of 'can' to talk about what someone or something was able or allowed to do:

I couldn't see what he was doing.
You said we could watch television when we'd finished our homework.

B1 used to talk about what is possible or might happen:

The baby could arrive any day now.
This kind of crime could easily be prevented.
She could have been seriously injured.

A2 used to ask someone politely to do or provide something:

Could you lend me £5?
Could I have another drink?

B1 used to ask politely for permission to do something:

Could I speak to Mr Davis, please?

B1 used to make a suggestion:

You could try painting it a different colour.
I could (have)

used when you feel so happy, sad, angry, etc that you would like to do something:

I was so grateful I could have kissed her!

(Definition of “could” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Translations of “could”
Need a translator?

Translator tool

Get a quick, free translation!