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  • Hi, I'm Annemarie with Speak Confident English and welcome to your

  • Confident English Wednesday lesson. This is where you want to be every week if

  • your goal is to advance your English language skills and communicate with

  • confidence. This week we're going to look at grammar in real life. We're going to

  • get very specific on one topic. We'll look at some examples of how it gets used in

  • real, everyday speaking situations and, of course, as always you have the

  • opportunity to practice and perfect so that you can use your English with

  • confidence at work and in your everyday life. This week we're we're looking at

  • the word could. Could is one of those modal words that you might hear a lot

  • about. Modals are words like should, would, could, might, but I want to focus just on

  • one. Just on the word could so that you can really understand how we use it in

  • everyday speaking situations and use it correctly. In today's video you'll learn

  • five situations in which you can use the word could just like a native speaker in

  • your everyday life. And number one is making polite requests. So imagine that

  • you're at work and you need help with something or you want to ask someone for

  • something. The way to make it the most polite is to use the word could. For

  • example: could you send me the contract by the end of the day? Could you send me

  • the contract by the end of the day? In this example, I could use the word can -

  • Can you send me the contract by the end of the day but just that small change

  • from can to could makes it more polite. Another example that I hear a lot

  • in my classes and in my emails is could you help me? I just don't understand this

  • grammar topic. Could you help me? I just don't understand this. Or maybe you get a

  • phone call from a friend who says, could I borrow your car this weekend? Could I

  • borrow your car this weekend? And finally a very polite but common way of

  • interrupting someone at work is: I'm sorry could I bother you for a moment? Or

  • I'm sorry could I interrupt you for a moment? Now the second way that we use

  • could in our everyday lives is responding to requests. You've already

  • used it to make a polite request. Let's imagine that your friend calls you and

  • asks: could you help me move this weekend? I'm moving to a new apartment and I need

  • some help. Could you help me move this weekend now? It's your job to respond.

  • Again you have a choice. You could say can: yes I can or i would love to help

  • you move this weekend. Or you could say: yeah I could help you. I only have time

  • on Saturday afternoon though. Yeah, I could help you. In responding to a

  • request, when we use could it shows a little bit of hesitation or lack of

  • desire for doing it. Maybe you really don't have time or you just don't want

  • to help. Using could actually shows that you don't really want to do it. Instead

  • can can show a little bit more enthusiasm. For example, yes of course I

  • can help you this weekend, it's no problem. So there's just a little change

  • between making the request and answering the request. Number three making

  • suggestions. For example maybe someone says to you:

  • I'm so bored I have nothing to do. But you have a lot of good ideas and you can

  • suggest those ideas by saying: you could read a book or you could go to a movie.

  • You could take a walk or you could even take the dog on a walk. All of those are

  • great suggestions and we're using could to help us make those. Number four: past

  • abilities. When I was younger I could run a lot faster without getting out of

  • breath. When I was younger I could run a lot faster without getting out of breath.

  • Or ten years ago she could speak Spanish really well but she hasn't used it in

  • years. Ten years ago she could speak Spanish so much better but she hasn't

  • used it in years. In both of those examples I'm talking about an ability

  • that I or someone else had in the past but we no longer have that ability. And

  • finally number five. A real-life situation when we use the word could is

  • for possibilities. And this is similar to using might but we'll save that for

  • another day. Let's look at a couple of examples of using could for a possibility.

  • Don't forget to take an umbrella today it could rain. Or we could even use it

  • for past possibilities. For example, you could have gone to the store earlier to

  • avoid all the traffic. You could have gone to the store earlier to avoid all

  • the rush hour traffic. And with that you have five real-life examples of how we

  • use could in our everyday lives in English. And now it's your turn to give

  • it a try. As always you can share with me your own examples in the comments

  • section just below this video to get feedback and to share with the Confident

  • English Community. Try practicing some polite requests or share with me some

  • past abilities that you had. As always, I do read all the comments below and

  • provide feedback so don't be afraid to take this opportunity to test your

  • understanding. And then begin using these examples in your everyday life so that

  • you can communicate with confidence.

Hi, I'm Annemarie with Speak Confident English and welcome to your

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A2 US polite everyday weekend request everyday life confident english

5 Ways to use COULD in Your Real English Life - Advanced English Grammar

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    Samuel posted on 2018/07/16
Video vocabulary