Could, Couldn´t - possibility, ability - flash card

Interactive exercises with videos :

I could swim when I was five.

I couldn't climb the mountain.

I couldn't sleep because I had a headache.



umět - ability
v minulosti

I could swim when I was 5.
V pěti (letech) jsem uměl plavat.


možnost - possibility

He could come tomorrow.
Možná by mohl zítra přijít.


žádost - request

Could I borrow your phone, please?
Mohl bych si půjčit tvůj telefon prosím?


návrh - suggestion

You could bring him a present.
Mohl bys mu (například) přinést dárek.


vyjádření nemožnosti

You couldn't be thirsty. You just drank a bottle of water
Nemůžeš mít žízeň, právě jsi vypil láhev vody.

Exercise 1  - fill could or couldn´t

Polite request

Match the answer to the request

Complete  the sentences

Complete the sentences

Could you ...?


'Could' can be used to talk about the past, the present or the future.

'Could' is a past form of 'can'

  • When I was living in Boston, I could walk to work.
  • He phoned to say he couldn't come.
  • I could see him clearly but I couldn't hear him and then the videoconference line went dead.

'Could' is used to make polite requests. We can also use 'can' for these but 'could' is more polite.

  • Could you help me, please?
  • Could you lend me some money?
  • Could I have a lift?
  • Could I bother you for a moment?

If we use 'could' in reply to these requests, it suggests that we do not really want to do it. If you agree to the request, it is better to say 'can'

  • Of course I can.
  • I could help you if it's really necessary but I'm really busy right now.
  • I could lend you some money but I'd need it back tomorrow without fail.
  • I could give you a lift as far as Birmingham.

'Could' is used to talk about theoretical possibility and is similar in meaning to 'might'.

  • It could rain later. Take an umbrella.
  • He could be there by now.
  • Could he be any happier?
  • It could be Sarah's.