The Verb "Could" - English Grammar - English The Easy Way Update cookies preferences
Home Job Hunting Reading
English The Easy Way

English The Easy Way

Everybody Can Learn English

English Grammar

The Verb "Could"

Could is used as both an auxiliary verb and a modal verb.

Could is almost always used with a main verb.

  • I could not call you last week.
  • We could not drive the car yesterday.
  • They could not take the exam last week.

Could is used as the past tense of "can".

  • I could help you learn English.
  • We could come over next week.
  • My friends could fix your car.

Could is used to request something in the present tense.

  • Could you give me some money?
  • Could you help me with my car?
  • Could you come and pick us up?

Structure of "could":

  • When using as a model verb or an auxiliary verb the verb "could" stays in its base form.
  • Could does not change form according to the subject.
  • Could is followed by a main verb. The main verb also stays in its base form. The main verb that is used with could does not change form according to the subject.
- Subject "Could" - Main Verb -
Positive Sentences I could - go to the store.
Negative Sentences We could not go to the store.
Questions** Could they - go to the store.

* All subjects are: I, we, they, you, plural nouns, singular nouns and uncountable nouns.

**Questions - When could is used to ask a question, could comes before the subject.