Since you mentioned the second conditional, I don't know why the context of the OP doesn't go along with the second conditional.Although the second one isn't correct according to the context, it works with second conditional (when you don't want a ride), isn't it?
"Could" here simply means "am able to." So it's a bit different from the "could" in "Could you tell me your name," where it's just being used because it sounds more polite than "Tell me your name."Thanks a lot, Parla. I still have a question. If "want" is correct, why is there a "could", is the "could" the same as in "Could you tell me your name"?
Parla, you don't seem to think of it as a second conditional. Why is that?
Boozer, "'could' as a modal verb referring to the present time", isn't this what the 'could' in a type 2 conditional really is? If so, is the second conditional allowed to choose between the present tense 'want' and the past tense 'wanted'?Both sentences are correct, as far as I am concerned. Example 1) uses 'could' as a modal verb referring to the present time. Sentence 2) uses 'could' as the past-tense form of 'can' and represents an example of type 2 conditional.
JustKate, would it be possible to say this?: "I am able to take you for a ride if you want." Which somehow sounds odd to me, for whatever it's worth. Moreover, if it's equivalent to 'am able to' here, then why do you think the speaker chose 'could' over 'can', which I'm sure is no less close to 'am able to'."Could" here simply means "am able to." So it's a bit different from the "could" in "Could you tell me your name," where it's just being used because it sounds more polite than "Tell me your name."
Beryle, what do you mean by the present tense of the modal 'could'?I'd say they were both correct, though I would have thought that both sentences contained the present tense of the modal 'could'.
I'd think of the second sentence (with 'wanted') as being more tentative, or speculative (than the first), and as extending the duration of the offer (of a ride). (Cross-posted with JK)
bennymix, so you don't think that 2) is the second conditional, do you? Why not?I'm OK with 2) and to me it sounds British or Canadian; it's a polite form using a faux-past tense that strikes the American ear. To a guest in a present situation: "Did you want something to eat?"
I think you should see boozer's explanation as there's clearly something missing from my understanding here.Beryle, what do you mean by the present tense of the modal 'could'?
(1) I could take you for a ride if you want. <-- Here the offer of the lift (ride) seems limited to the very near future, and, I would interpret the offer as being extended on a once-only basis.Also, what do you mean by the second sentence extending the duration of the offer?