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Hi,
i would like to to know the rules that need to be followed when using the words, "would " and "could"
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Hello Guest

Try this thread first:

Modals

MrP
This is an interesting thread. The question of would and could has lingered in my mind for a long time. I have never found an answer sufficiently explaining the difference between "would be able to" and "could" . The grammar books I have read (ESL grammr) equal the two. I would like to know the distinction between them, when they are synomous, when they are not. Thank you very much.
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Can someone in "basic" English (I'm just a beginner) please tell me, "When do you use would, and when do you use could" Thank you
my father had an old saying on the subject that made sense to me

i would if i could but i can't so i won't

in my understanding would and could are sometimes interchangeable but there is sometimes a subtle difference in that could can indicate an ability to do something but would can indicate a desire to do a thing

i could do it if i wanted

i would do it if i were able

see ya

robert
AnonymousWhich sentence is correct:

1. I would be grateful if you could provide me with the balance sheet for Mourant CDO by close of business tommorrow.

2. I would be grateful if you would provide me with the balance sheet for Moraunt CDO by close of business tommorrow.

both are correct but the first sounds better because of the lack of repetition

robert
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It is virtually impossible to lay down rules about the use of modal verbs in English in a forum such as this.

The following sentences give an example of how tricky it can be:

I am so hungry I could eat a horse.

There was a time I could eat a horse, but now I can only manage a goat.

It is a question of taking each case you come across it and asking what it means. Like a lot if things it will gradually fall into place.
I would't do this work.
AnonymousWhich sentence is correct:

1. I would be grateful if you could provide me with the balance sheet for Mourant CDO by close of business tommorrow.

2. I would be grateful if you would provide me with the balance sheet for Moraunt CDO by close of business tommorrow.

When I started in the law some 40 odd years ago I was told that the correct form (at least for a lawyer when writing) was:

I should be grateful if you would...

or (but not quite so refined)

We shall be grateful if you will...

The first always struck me as suggesting:

I ought to be grateful...

Native English speakers argue fiercely about the correct usage of modal verbs. It is futile for learners of English to try and find rules for every situation.
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<When I started in the law some 40 odd years ago I was told that the correct form (at least for a lawyer when writing) was:>

Why "in the law" there? Why not just "in law"?
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