could Meaning in the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “could” - Learner’s Dictionary

could

modal verb
 
 
strong /kʊd/ weak /kəd/
CAN 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.Skill, talent and ability
POSSIBLE 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.Possible and probable
ASK A2 used to ask someone politely to do or provide something: Could you lend me £5? Could I have another drink?Polite expressions
ASK PERMISSION B1 used to ask politely for permission to do something: Could I speak to Mr Davis, please?Polite expressions
SUGGEST B1 used to make a suggestion: You could try painting it a different colour.Suggestions and proposals
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! Wanting thingsHoping and hopefulness
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) 許可, (禮貌地請求許可)可以,能…
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) 许可, (礼貌地请求许可)可以,能…
(Definition of could from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day
faith school

a school that is financially supported by a particular religious group, usually for children from that religion

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by Cambridge Dictionaries Online,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More