One-Point English Lesson: Using Could for Possibility

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

He could be upset because of the traffic

When you want to talk about a present possibility, you can use could.

  • Joe isn’t in the office yet. He could be stuck in traffic.
  • Why is that man on the ground? He could be injured.
  • We missed the meeting. I think we could be in trouble with the boss. Here he comes.

You can also use could when you want to talk about a future or potential possibility

  • Don’t put that glass on the top shelf. It could fall off.
  • If you don’t tighten those bolts, they could come loose.
  • We should put away the patio furniture. Otherwise it could get damaged this winter.

You can also use could have + pp verb when you want to talk about a past possibility

  • You shouldn’t have put that glass on the top shelf. It could have fallen off.
  • If you hadn’t tightened those bolts, they could have come loose.
  • I’m glad we put away the patio furniture. If not, it could have gotten damaged last winter.

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