simple past tense of can
Before I was blind, I could see very well.
conditional of can Used as a past subjunctive. Used to politely ask for permission to do something. Used to politely ask for someone else to do something. Used to show the possibility that something might happen. Used to suggest something.
I think he could do it if he really wanted to.
Etymology: From Middle English coude, couthe, cuthe, from Old English cūþe, past indicative and past subjunctive form of cunnan ("to be able") (compare related cūþ, whence English couth). The silent 'l' was added in the early 16th century by analogy with should and would, at which time the 'l' in those words was already also silent (and was sometimes not written, leading to shudd, wode, etc).
Samuel Johnson's Dictionary
Couldthe imperfect preterite of can.
Was able to; had power to.
And if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it is that which I desired; but if slenderly and meanly, it is that which I could attain unto. 2 Mac. xv. 38.
What if he did not all the ill he could?
Am I oblig’d by that t’ assist his rapines,
And to maintain his murders? John Dryden, Spanish Fryar.
The English modal verbs are a subset of the English auxiliary verbs used mostly to express modality (properties such as possibility, obligation, etc.). They can be distinguished from other verbs by their defectiveness (they do not have participle or infinitive forms) and by their neutralization (that they do not take the ending -(e)s in the third-person singular). The principal English modal verbs are can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, and must. Certain other verbs are sometimes, but not always, classed as modals; these include ought, had better, and (in certain uses) dare and need. Verbs which share only some of the characteristics of the principal modals are sometimes called "quasi-modals", "semi-modals", or "pseudo-modals".
was, should be, or would be, able, capable, or susceptible. Used as an auxiliary, in the past tense or in the conditional present
Etymology: [OF. coude. The l was inserted by mistake, under the influence of should and would.]
Chambers 20th Century Dictionary
kood, pa.t. of Can. [M. E. coude, couth—A.S. cúðe for cunðe, was able; l is inserted from the influence of would and should.]
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'Could' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #62
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'Could' in Written Corpus Frequency: #88
Rank popularity for the word 'Could' in Verbs Frequency: #14
The numerical value of Could in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of Could in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
She probably finished the writing -process a few weeks before she passed, as far as I could see, we had 14 songs. Whatever needed to happen, it was right there.
We wanted to be right in the heart of things where we could both attract top digital talent and also work with other technology companies that are right in the area.
One would like to be grand and heroic, if one could; but if not, why try at all? One wants to be very something, very great, very heroic; or if not that, then at least very stylish and very fashionable. It is this everlasting mediocrity that bores me.
We left that meeting with a jointly developed framework that we agreed could form the basis of an agreement and subject to conversations with our respective constituents, i summarized that framework numerous times in the meeting and sent Tony a written summary today. Consistent with our conversations yesterday, I am encouraging the clubs to move forward and I trust Tony is doing the same.
If Britain left the EU, the euro area authorities could no longer tolerate such a high proportion of financial activities involving their currency taking place abroad, it is already very difficult for euro members to accept that our currency is largely traded outside the currency area, beyond the control of the ECB.
Popularity rank by frequency of use
Translations for Could
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- θα μπορούσεGreek
- می تواندPersian
- सकता हैHindi
- הָיָה יָכוֹלHebrew
- 할 수 있었다Korean
- ar puteaRomanian
- کر سکتے تھےUrdu
- có thểVietnamese
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"Could." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/Could>.