All anyone could talk about was...

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wanabee

Senior Member
Japanese
Dear all,

All anybody could talk about yesterday was the new movie. Actually, I didn't want to hear it anymore.

I made up the sentences. I think that "all anybody could talk about was..." is a set phrase, but I'm not quite sure of the meaning of "could" in there.

Could someone explain that?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    It's the past of "can" = be able to. In the present you would say "All they can talk about..." which implies they are so obsessed with the subject (the movie) that they can [/are able to] speak of nothing else.
     

    anna30

    New Member
    Yeah. I agree to Franco-filly. Could is the past form of Can. It is used to show any happenings that was possible to do in past. See the examples of could, should and would on Internet and use it while speaking.
     
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