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Can vs. Could — What's the Difference?

Can vs. Could — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Can and Could

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Can

Be able to
He can't afford it
They can run fast
I could hear footsteps
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Past of can
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Be permitted to
You can use the phone if you want to
Nobody could legally drink on the premises
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Inflection of can
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Used to request someone to do something
Can you open the window?
Can't you leave me alone?
Sep 23, 2021
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Could

Used as a past subjunctive (contrary to fact).
I think he could do it if he really wanted to.
I wish I could fly!
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Preserve (food) in a can
Sardines and anchovies are worth the extra money if canned in olive oil
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Used to politely ask for permission to do something.
Could I borrow your coat?
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Dismiss from a job
He was canned because of a tiff over promotion
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Used to politely ask for someone else to do something.
Could you proofread this email?
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A cylindrical metal container
A can of paint
A petrol can
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Used to show the possibility that something might happen.
We could rearrange the time if you like.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Prison
Our friends will get a year or two in the can
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Used to suggest something.
You could try adding more salt to the soup.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

The toilet
She walks in and has to use the can
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Past participle of can
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Headphones.
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Something that could happen, or could be the case, under different circumstances; a potentiality.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A woman's breasts.
Sep 23, 2021

Could

Was, should be, or would be, able, capable, or susceptible. Used as an auxiliary, in the past tense or in the conditional present.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A usually cylindrical metal container.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

An airtight container, usually made of tin-coated iron, in which foods or beverages are preserved.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

The contents of such a container
Ate a can of beans.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(Slang) A jail or prison.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(Slang) A toilet or restroom.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(Slang) The buttocks.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(Slang) A naval destroyer.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To seal in an airtight container for future use; preserve
Canning peaches.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(Slang) To make a recording of
Can the audience's applause for a TV comedy show.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To end the employment of; fire.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To put an end or stop to
Canned the TV show after one season.
Told the students to can the chatter.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To solicit cash donations for a charity or other organization such as a club or amateur sports team by holding out a can or other container in a public place.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To know how to; to be able to.
She can speak English, French, and German.
I can play football.
Can you remember your fifth birthday?
Sep 23, 2021

Can

May; to be permitted or enabled to.
You can go outside and play when you're finished with your homework.
Can I use your pen?
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(modal auxiliary verb, defective) To have the potential to; be possible.
Can it be Friday already?
Teenagers can really try their parents' patience.
Animals can experience emotions.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Used with verbs of perception.
Can you hear that?.
I can feel the baby moving inside me.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To know.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To seal in a can.
They canned air to sell as a novelty to tourists.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To preserve by heating and sealing in a jar or can.
They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To shut up.
Can your gob.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To fire or dismiss an employee.
The boss canned him for speaking out.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To hole the ball.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(transitive) To cover (the fuel element in a nuclear reactor) with a protective cover.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium, but sometimes of plastic, and with a carrying handle over the top.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A chamber pot, now a toilet or lavatory.
Shit or get off the can.
Bob's in the can. You can wait a few minutes or just leave it with me.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Buttocks.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(slang) Jail or prison.
Bob's in the can. He won't be back for a few years.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Headphones.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(archaic) A drinking cup.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

(nautical) A cube-shaped buoy or marker used to denote a port-side lateral mark
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A chimney pot.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

An E-meter used in Scientology auditing.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

An ounce (or sometimes, two ounces) of marijuana.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A protective cover for the fuel element in a nuclear reactor.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

An obs. form of began, imp. & p. p. of Begin, sometimes used in old poetry. [See Gan.]
With gentle words he can faile gree.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A drinking cup; a vessel for holding liquids.
Fill the cup and fill can,Have a rouse before the morn.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A vessel or case of tinned iron or of sheet metal, of various forms, but usually cylindrical; as, a can of tomatoes; an oil can; a milk can.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To preserve by putting in sealed cans
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To know; to understand.
I can rimes of Rodin Hood.
I can no Latin, quod she.
Let the priest in surplice white,That defunctive music can.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To be able to do; to have power or influence.
The will of Him who all things can.
For what, alas, can these my single arms?
Mæcænas and Agrippa, who can most with Cæsar.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

To be able; - followed by an infinitive without to; as, I can go, but do not wish to.
Yet he could not but acknowledge to himself that there was something calculated to impress awe, . . . in the sudden appearances and vanishings . . . of the masque
Tom felt that this was a rebuff for him, and could not but understand it as a left-handed hit at his employer.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.
Sep 23, 2021

Can

The quantity contained in a can
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A buoy with a round bottom and conical top
Sep 23, 2021

Can

The fleshy part of the human body that you sit on;
He deserves a good kick in the butt
Are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A plumbing fixture for defecation and urination
Sep 23, 2021

Can

A room equipped with toilet facilities
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Preserve in a can or tin;
Tinned foods are not very tasty
Sep 23, 2021

Can

Terminate the employment of;
The boss fired his secretary today
The company terminated 25% of its workers
Sep 23, 2021

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