Meaning of COULD in English

/kood/ ; unstressed /keuhd/ , v.

1. a pt. of can 1 .

auxiliary verb.

2. (used to express possibility): I wonder who that could be at the door. That couldn't be true.

3. (used to express conditional possibility or ability): You could do it if you tried.

4. (used in making polite requests): Could you open the door for me, please?

5. (used in asking for permission): Could I borrow your pen?

6. (used in offering suggestions or advice): You could write and ask for more information. You could at least have called me.

[ ME coude, OE cuthe; modern -l- (from WOULD, SHOULD) first attested 1520-30 ]

Usage . See care .

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .