differentiate can,could, will, would ,shall,should...

Not open for further replies.


New Member
How can differentiate can,could, will, would ,shall,should...

Can you work?
Could you work?
Will you work?
Would you work?
Shall you work?
Should you work?
  • Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    You are asking about a combination of present, future, and conditional tense verbs (or, some would argue, all conditional tense), and you're really supposed to ask about one at a time...

    Why don't you take a moment to read about the conditional tenses in English:

    As well as the various past, present, and future tenses:

    Examples for all of the verbs can be found at the bottom of the two pages, above, which will help you figure out which tense you want.


    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, I think that in the most general terms the uses of could / would / should / might can be classified as:
    - past tense - I can go there today / When I lived in Brighton I could go to the beach every day
    - subjunctive, i.e. tentative - Will you pass me the salt please? / Would you please pass the salt?
    - and conditional - I will go to the shops / If I had my car I would go to the shops.
    But as Cypherpunk says, so much idiom is attached to these words, and so much of that idiom attaches to one form and not to others, that it may not be particularly helpful for learners to analyse these words in this way.
    Last edited:
    Not open for further replies.
    < Previous | Next >