What is difference between could and can?

Dear Student,
As modals both can and could are used in imperative expressions usually in question form. They are used to make requests or permissions. The use of could suggests a more polite mood, while 'can' is used informally. Moreover, the use of could suggests a level of doubt and uncertainty. This means that when the word 'could' is used in a sentence the meaning may suggest that the information being expressed is maybe true or not. 'Can' may express that a person is able to do, while 'could' has about 50% possibility that it will be done. 
As main verb 'can' is used in present tense while 'could' is used in the past tense.


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