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Meaning of could

could

Pronunciation: (kood unstressed k&schwad), [key]
— v.
  1. a pt. of.
—auxiliary v.
  1. (used to express possibility): I wonder who that could be at the door. That couldn't be true.
  2. (used to express conditional possibility or ability): You could do it if you tried.
  3. (used in making polite requests): Could you open the door for me, please?
  4. (used in asking for permission): Could I borrow your pen?
  5. (used in offering suggestions or advice): You could write and ask for more information. You could at least have called me.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.