Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

There's more that could be added to this entry - "Simple past of can" is the only definition we have - there are nuances of politeness here (i.e. "could you help me out" v. "can you help me out"), and there's no mention of its purpose as an auxiliary verb. An etymology and translations too, Compare with would and should, which are good pages. --Keene 14:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, there could be many pagefuls of useful information here. This resembles the case of many of the "core topics" on Wikipedia, so fundamental and far-reaching that editors are intimidated by the prospect of even starting to work on proper coverage. Well anyway, I am. -- Visviva 15:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
The models are good, but it looks like an all-day effort (or more) for someone like me. I hope there are actual linguistic/grammar mavens willing to take this on. I suppose an amateur like me could offer up a "draft" for further work by my betters. DCDuring 18:11, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


You'd need at least 3:

 # {{simple past of|can}}
 #:''Before I was blind, I '''could''' see very well.''
 # Used to politely ask for [[permission]] to do something
 #:'''''Could''' I borrow your coat?''
 # Used to politely ask for someone else to do something
 #:'''''Could''' you proof-read this email?''