• (stressed) IPA: /kʊd/, [kʰʊd]
  • (unstressed) IPA: /kəd/, [kʰəd]
  1. simple past tense of can
    Before I was blind, I could see very well.
  2. conditional of can#English|can
    1. Used as a past subjunctive (contrary to fact).
      I think he could do it if he really wanted to.
      I wish I could fly!
    2. Used to politely ask for permission to do something.
      Could I borrow your coat?
    3. Used to politely ask for someone else to do something.
      Could you proofread this email?
    4. Used to show the possibility that something might happen.
      We could rearrange the time if you like.
    5. Used to suggest something.
      You could try adding more salt to the soup.
Related terms Noun

could (plural coulds)

  1. Something that could happen, or could be the case, under different circumstances; a potentiality.

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