The modal verbs are:

can could
may might
shall should
will would
must  

We use modal verbs to show if we believe something is certain, probable or possible (or not). We also use modals to do things like talking about ability, asking permission making requests and offers, and so on.
 

Section: 

Comments

Sir, Though I know that we can't use 'Could' for past until we have two occasions, one of which shows past like this (I could run fast when I was a child) But with adverb like 'past and before' Can we use 'Could' like this I can't do it now But I could do it before or in the past or Just simply I could do it before or should we always say I was able to do this ?

Hello SonuKumar,

You can use 'could' to talk about past general ability (like in the sentences you ask about). It's also common to use 'used to' ('I used to be able to do it'), but there's nothing wrong with 'could'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello
can you help me with this:
1. Choose the best answer to complete the following:
1) You will have to carry out the agreed program....... your own personal feelings
a) no matter
b) whatever
c) whatever are
d) however

Hello Casimir,

Could you please tell us what you think is the correct answer? If you can explain why, that will help us help you better.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk
I think B and C are the best because A requires a pronoun after it and D is totally wrong as there is no verb part in the sentence part.
Thank you for your support

Hello Casimir,

Thanks! Of the available answers, I'd say b) is the best, though really I think the best way to write this would be 'You will have to carry out the agreed program whatever your own personal feelings are'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Can you talk me through the grammar of this sentence:
Can I leave at 4 o'clock, please?

Hello Padders,

Please let us know how you see it and then we can confirm if you've understood it correctly or not. If not, your analysis will help us give you a more useful answer.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, He probably starts his days with a cup of tea nowadays. for present.

He probably started his days with a cup of tea those days. for past.

Now the question is, Could I use 'would' here in both sentences for past and present probability with no change in meaning ? Could 'would' be used like this for present and past probability ?

Hello SonuKumar,

No, 'would' isn't used this way to refer to probability in the present or in the past. You could use it to refer to a past habit, but if you're not certain about that habit, you'd have to use a different construction, e.g. 'I imagine he would begin his days with a cup of tea in those days'. Though to be honest, it sounds a bit odd to use 'would' to refer to a past habit when you're not certain so I wouldn't recommend it. I'd probably just say 'I imagine he began his days with a cup of tea.'

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Pages