Engleska gramatika: Kako koristiti pomoćni glagol 'COULD'


Hello. I'm Gill at www.engvid.com, and today we have a lesson on an auxiliary modal verb:

"could", the use of "could". So, there are two ways... Well, we have five ways that it's

used here, but "could" comes either from as the past tense of the verb "can", which is

also an auxiliary modal verb, "can": "could" in the past; or it's used as an auxiliary

verb with other verbs combined. So, sorry that sounds very complicated, but I hope it

comes clearer with the sentences to illustrate how it can be used. Okay.

So, first of all, just to show the simple past tense of "can", if I can do something:

I can do something today, yesterday I could do it as well; or I couldn't do it yesterday,

you could use the negative as well. So, first sentence, then: "At one time"-in the past-"I

could run a mile and not get out of breath". So, to get out of breath is when you've been

running a lot, and then you can't... You're breathing very quickly and you have to wait

for your body to get back to normal. And if you're running, also, it might be painful

and you have to stop, so that's getting out of breath. Okay? So: "At one time in the past

I could run a mile." I can't say now in the present I can run a mile, because I can't,

okay? But in the past, at one time, I could run a mile and not get out of breath. Okay,

so that's just the past tense of "can".

But then the other four examples are where it's used as an auxiliary modal verb with

different ways of using it. So we have four different ways of using it, here. First of

all, number two is a polite request. So, instead of: "Can I...?" you say: "Could I...? Could

I borrow your pen, please, just for a moment? Could I borrow your pen, please?" If you say:

"Can I...?" it's okay, but it's not quite as polite. So if you really want the person

to say: "Yes, of course", if you're polite they are more likely to let you borrow their

pen. So: "Could. Could I please?" So we've got: "Could I" and we also have "please" at

the end. Or you could put: "Please" near the beginning: "Please. Please could I...? Could

I please...?" Any order. "Can I borrow your pen, please, just for a moment?" So that's

a polite request. Okay.

And then the third sentence is when you're saying that something is possible. You're

telling somebody something is possible if... If they do something, so this is called a

conditional. Okay. And that... We have lots of video lessons on conditionals, so do have

a look for those. So, here is an example: "You could get good marks in the exam if you

study every day." So, the conditional: "Could" often uses "if", because you have a choice.

Are you going to study every day and get good marks in the exam, or are you going to maybe

study once or twice a week and then you get to the exam and you don't do so well, or what's

your choice? So this is your teacher, your tutor might tell you: "You could get good

marks in the exam if you study every day", if you work hard regularly every day. So that's

a possibility, a conditional. Right.

So, then number four, this is a polite way of maybe giving a criticism or suggesting

something isn't right, there's a mistake, or something may have gone wrong. If you say:

"I could be wrong, but... I could be wrong, but I think there's a mistake (an error) in

these figures." So if you're looking at some accounts, and the figures in columns and they're

supposed to add up accurately, and you look at it and you think: "This doesn't look right."

If you're an accounting genius, you can maybe see immediately something isn't right; the

figures don't balance or something. So... But you don't want to say: "Oh, that's wrong.

That's not right." You don't want to be so direct, so you're very careful that when you

begin your sentence: "I could be wrong, but I think..." So you're not saying: "I know.

I can see there's a mistake there." You wouldn't say that. "I think there's a mistake (an error)

in these figures", so it's a polite way of suggesting there could be a mistake. "I could

be wrong, but..." Okay. Useful phrase.

And then, finally, in this first half of the lesson, when somebody is saying they could

have done something or they could have been something, a profession: "I could have been

a ballet dancer, but something happened to stop me." A lot of people say: "I could have

done this, I could have done that", and then you think: "Well, why...? Why didn't you?"

Maybe the circumstances weren't right, maybe you needed money for it which you didn't have,

so there are lots of reasons why people don't do what they could have done; if they'd had

the money, if they'd been in the right place at the right time with the right people, etc.

So: "I could have been", that's a kind of conditional, but it's a conditional where

it's already in the past and it's too late now, you can't go back and change it. So:

"I could have been a ballet dancer, but it didn't happen." So...

And that one reminded me of a famous scene in a film, the actor Marlon Brando, you may

know this one, called On the Waterfront, and he's sitting in the back of a car with I think

his brother, and he's saying what... He could have been somebody. He could have really done

something with his life, and now he's upset, he thinks it's too late, something's gone

wrong, so he says: "I could have been a contender" meaning someone who really gets out there

and does something, a contender. "I could have been somebody", rather than nobody. He

feels he's nobody. "I could have been somebody." So that's a famous example of: "could have

been" in a film.

And then to end this half of the lesson, the different forms for "could have", that's the

full form with no abbreviation, you can have it abbreviated, contracted with "could've",

"I could've", so "could", apostrophe, "ve". So the apostrophe shows the missing letters

"ha". "Could have", so you say: "Could've", "could've", just a "ve" sound at the end.

"Could've" instead of "could have". "I could've". Okay. And then sometimes, because the way

people speak, they sometimes say: "I coulda". "I coulda done that. I coulda done that",

instead of "could've". "I coulda", if they're speaking quickly, meaning: "I could have done

that. I coulda". You may sometimes see this written down if someone's written down what

somebody said, and it sounded like "coulda", you might see that in writing, but usually

you will hear it when people are speaking.

And because of this one, unfortunately, there's a terrible mistake that people put when they're

writing, and they put: "could of", which is completely wrong. Okay? So please don't write

"could of". It should be: "could have". So: "could of" makes no sense. The word "of" has

nothing to do with what this is saying, so please don't put: "could of", that's completely

wrong, so be careful because also people say it like that: "I could of", "I could of",

so it's "could've" here turning into "could of" there, and they even say... People even

say it like an "of". "Could of", and they write it that way, too, "could of", and it's

completely wrong, so please avoid that if you can. Right, so we'll just move on to the

second part of the lesson where I have a little test for you. Okay.

Okay, so here's the test for you to use the word "could" in four different sentences.

So, let's look at the first one. So, another way of saying it is: "I used to be able to

swim underwater for a full minute." So if you're in the swimming pool, you go under

the water, below the surface, and you can swim around under water, holding your breath

for a full minute. Okay? So: "I used to be"-meaning at one time-"I was able to"-able to-"swim

under water for a full minute". So, can you say that in a similar way, starting: "At one

time", and then use the word "could"? "At one time", okay. So it's about I, so: "At

one time I..." So: "At one time I could", and then it goes on. "At one time I could

swim under water for a full minute." Okay. "Full minute" means a whole minute, 60 seconds,

a complete minute. "At one time I could swim under water for a full minute." Okay. Right,

so that's using "can", "could" as the past tense. "I could at one time", okay. Right.

Next one. If you ask someone to speak more slowly, what would you say? If you're asking

someone to speak more slowly, politely asking them: "Speak more slowly", so you say: "Please...

Please", so the word we want to use is "could", so: "Please could", "Please could", and then

we're speaking to another person, so we need the word for the other person. "Please could

you", okay? So: "Please could you speak more slowly?" Okay? Right. So that's a polite request,

isn't it? You're being polite to the person. They're speaking too quickly, you're asking

them: "Please, could you speak more slowly?" All right.

Next one, you want to tell somebody, someone they are capable, they are able, they have

the possibility of writing a book. They know so much about a subject that you say: "You

know so much about that subject, you are capable, you are able, you would be able to write a

book on that subject because you know so much and you're so interested in it." So it's encouraging

them to go ahead, write a book. So what do you say to tell them that they're capable

of writing a book? Using the word "could": "You..." So: "You could... You could write",

not "writing" this time, but: "You could write a book", okay? "You could write a book on

that subject. You know so much about it." Okay, so that's a conditional because you

could... The person may not decide: "Oh, right, I'll write a book, then." They may think:

"Oh no. I can't... I can't do that, it's too much work. I'm not going to do that." But

there's the possibility that they could write a book if they wanted to. Okay.

And then finally: "I had the chance, the opportunity to be in a Hollywood film, but it didn't happen."

Something went wrong. They chose somebody else, as often happens. It didn't happen.

I had the chance, I had the opportunity, they were thinking of me, considering me. This

isn't true, by the way. But: "I had a chance to be in a Hollywood film, but it didn't happen."

So, how would you say that using the word "could"? "I", you need several words here

with "could", "could" plus some other words. "I..." Okay, so "could" comes first. "I could",

"in a Hollywood film". "I could have... I could have been", okay? So: "I could have

been in a Hollywood film, but it didn't happen." Okay.

So, I hope that's been useful for you. So, if you'd like to go to the website, www.engvid.com,

there's a quiz there. In addition to this test we've just done, there's a quiz on this

subject, so please go and try the quiz and see how you do. And please subscribe to my

channel if you've enjoyed this lesson, and thanks for watching. See you again soon. Bye.