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Hello and thank you ! wich one is the best way ?? can we meet at your house at 3:30 ? could we meet at your ouse at 3:30 ? and please if you have any examples thank you ! smile

  • Posted Mar 29, 2010
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4 Answers

3 Vote

can we meet at your house at 3:30 ? could we meet at your house at 3:30 ?

Can and Could are both modals. Remember that modals are often interchanged.

How are they different?

Well, let's start by say that "could" is not the past tense of "can" it is just another modal,

Can equates to ability normally

Could equates to possibility ( although "I could do it yesterday" = past ability and "I could do it tomorrow = future possibilty)

Though they can and often are interchangeable.

Can we meet ...... = do we have the ability to meet .......

Could we meet ....is more like "do we have the possibility of meeting" .......

When asking a question it is more polite and less direct to use "could" than "can".

Why I have no idea - it just is like that.

1 Vote

If you are asking someone, you should say could we meet (¿Podríamos reunir(nos)?). Otherwise, you can use can (podemos).

1 Vote

Can we meet ...... = do we have the ability to meet ....... Could we meet ....is more like "do we have the possibility of meeting"

Possibility and ability very similar. The main difference is that Could tends to be more subjunctive than Can. So if you have already agreed to meet someone, but where & when are still undecided, then use, Can. If the idea of this meeting is just being established, then use, Could.

  • Surely there are no degrees of subjectivity - are there? - ian-hill Mar 30, 2010 flag
1 Vote

¿Why dont we meet at your place ? is more normal in our community because it

shows a willingness to adjust and is not as direct as can, or could . Can, although

wrong is all too often used as a question , .May , is more correct but unfortunately

can, will take it's place. I should add that "Australian -English " is less formal and

probably more "user friendly" but others may disagree.

  • That depends on whether you are a P O M or not :) - ian-hill Apr 2, 2010 flag
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