I could really see you doing that./So could I.

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Senior Member
MAX: Frans Lanting, believe it or not.
SAM: You mean the guy that took those penguin
pictures on your wall?
MAX: Right. I read that in order to get those shots he
camped out on the ice in Antarctica for a month.
SAM: Wow! You know, I could really see you doing
MAX: So could I. After seeing those photos, I realized
I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in a bank. I
want to get out and see the world.

Are the red "coulds" used as the past tense of the word "can" (ability) or the possibility that might happen in the future?

Thank you.
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    When could is used as the past tense of can in the indicative mood (stating a fact), it means the same as “was/were able to”. But that does not apply here.

    Instead, it’s the equivalent of “would be able to”.
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