Can vs could


Senior Member
Hello everyone.
A question take from an exam: "the car won't start". (Which statement is not appropriate for the situation)
1. The battery can be dead
2. The battery could be dead.
3. The battery must be dead.
4. The battery may be dead
No the answer is 1, but I find it very difficult to understand why 'could' is o.k but 'can' is not.
Any Suggestion?Thank you!
  • perpend

    American English
    2., 3., and 4. are somewhat subjunctive statements.

    1. is not so much.

    1. sort of says: The battery is able to be dead. That is sort of true, but it's not the right grammar.