Lekce 4: Could - Possibility, plus distance. Distant possibility
Ability in the past: I could play the piano when I was a child.
Requests: Could you help me, please?
Suggestions: You could take the train tomorrow.
Possibilities in the present: He could be in the kitchen.
Possibilities in the future: We could visit my mother next week.
Possibilities in the past: He could have spoken to her yesterday.
Woman: (calling) Sam.
Woman: Could we have two cups of tea and an orange juice, please?
Sam: (off) No problem.
Could we have two cups of tea - zdvořilostní odstup
Elie: …he was so nice. But the other thing was he was really easy to talk to. The trouble is…
Girl B: What?
Elie: I don’t know if he wants to see me again.
Girl B: Ah! … you could call him
Elie: What? Just call him up: ‘oh hi. I really like you. Do you want to go out with me.’ No, I don’t think so.
Girl B: Why not? (imitating girl A) Ooh he was lovely. We had a really good time.
Elie: Stop it! (pause) Um, ok then. Could I borrow your phone?
(Both laugh. Conversation fades.)
Kamarádka Elie navrhuje, aby klukovi, který se jí líbí, zavolala, ale navrhuje to opatrně, protože si není jistá, jak bude Elie reagovat. Distancuje se od svého návrhu.
Elie to zpočátku připadalo nemožné, ale na konci konverzace si půjčuje kamarádčin mobil: Could I borrow your phone? Tady se dovoluje.
Klidně mohla použít can, ale jak už je zřejmě celá rozechvělá, zvolila zdvořilejší formu.