9
   

The church was built in the countryside so that believers can / could go there to pray.

 
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:19 pm
The British Council;s "learn English" page
Quote:
We use could to talk about past time:

She could speak several languages.
They couldn’t dance very well.



any reported speech there?
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:36 pm
From the Oxford
Words blog, the blog of the Oxfor Dictionaries:
(the author, incidentally, is an EFL teacher:
Quote:

We tend to use could as the past tense of can to talk about ability in the past:
I could hear Beth sniggering and cringed in embarrassment.

Mozart could play the piano blindfolded.

By the 1970s, jumbo jets could fly almost anywhere non-stop.

....


We use could have to refer to something that was an option or generally possible in the past but didn’t happen:
She never stopped daydreaming about the life she could have lived in Greece.

.....
If you’re referring to a general past situation when something was allowed, use could:
The Americans were under instructions that no-one could smoke indoors.



To refer to a past unrealistic situation or strong inclination, use could have:

She was so thirsty, she could have drunk a gallon of water.

He irritated me so much that I could have screamed.

Could have is also used (in a similar way to might) to show annoyance when you think someone should have done something, but they didn’t:
You could have told me that she wouldn’t be at work today!

Can and could versus may or might
This section provides more information on some points outlined in the may and might blog, concentrating on the way these verbs are used to make offers and requests and to ask for and give permission.

1.) Requests and offers

When making a request for something, the most usual way to do this in everyday English is to use can or could:
Can I have two coffees please?

Could I have two coffees please? [more polite than can]

Although can and could are perfectly acceptable, some people prefer to use may in such cases, as it’s regarded as more polite and more formal:

May I have two coffees please?

Nowadays, using might to make requests is generally reserved for very formal situations and to make the request sound more like a polite suggestion than a firm instruction:

Might I ask the Court to glance briefly at the judgment of Sir Harry Gibbs?

When making an offer, can is the most frequent way of doing this in everyday English; could is used when we want the offer to sound more tentative; may is more formal and more polite:
Can I get you another drink?

Could I help you in any way?

May I get you another drink?

2.) Asking for and giving/refusing permission

The most typical way of asking for permission in today’s English is to use can, or if you want to sound more polite, could:
Can I borrow your pen?

Could I borrow your pen?

Although this is part of standard English, many people believe that can and could are incorrect within the context of permission and should be reserved for talking only about ability and possibility, and thus it is advisable to use may in more formal writing and speaking (might is regarded as very formal):

May I borrow your pen? [polite, formal]

Might I borrow your pen? [rare, polite, very formal]

0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:54 pm
Just the first few examples that popped up in reputable sources, of people who think "could" is the past tense of
can" and provide examples.
\
Face it, JTT, if you're a decriptivist then you have to accept that that is probably the major way that "could" is used, no matter what your mnob thinks. Have the courage of your convictions, JTT, and BE a descriptivist--"modals DO have tenses, and "could" is the past tense of "can". The people speak, JTT, are you really listening, or do you hear only the buzz in your head?

I left much of the part where she segues into "can" and "may" in the last one, for a British take on it, that in fact "may" and "might" have different connotations than "can" (yes, semantics) and may be used preferentially as a result. So is your position that people who use"may" rather than "can" as a politeness issue are following a zombie rule, or does that only apply to those who think that "can" can't be used for permission? What about if they think both "may" is more polite and is the only word of the two that can be used to imply permission? Are they both applying a valid rule and applying an invalid rule simultaneously? Your view of language is far too rigid, and ignores the social realities of language use.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Aug, 2013 10:59 pm
Macmillan Dictionary:
Quote:
1used as the past tense of 'can'
Renee could already read when she was four.

In the distance I could see a cloud of smoke
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 08:30 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
YOU think that reported speech doesn't mean past tense. That's you being indiosyncratic. Not what others think.


Jack: I can go to the beach.

Jill: [who was too far away to hear] What did Jack say, jtt?

jtt: He said that he could go to the beach.

==============

Have you gone to beach yet, Jack?

---------------

Jack: I'm going to go to the beach.

Jill: [who was too far away to hear] What did Jack say, jtt?

jtt: He said that he was going to go to the beach.

=============

Does "he was going to go to the beach" mean Jack has changed his mind, Jack?

---------------

Jack: I can go to London.

Jill: [who was too far away to hear] What did Jack say, jtt?

jtt: He said that he could go to London.

=============

Has Jack gone to London, Jack? Does "he could go to London" signal that Jack has gone to London?
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 08:38 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
Has Jack gone to London, Jack? Does "he could go to London" signal that Jack has gone to London?



No, but it does signify that the statement was made in the past. The immediate past, but still the past.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 08:44 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
No, but it does signify that the statement was made in the past.


No, it doesn't signify that, Izzy. It signifies that it is Reported Speech, that it is not a Direct Quotation.

The backshift is not compulsory. So,

Jack said he can go to London.

is also a possibility. As is,

Jack says he can go to London.

izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:22 am
@JTT,
It was in the past, that's why could was used.

I know you don't understand, and can't admit to ever being wrong, which is why you're trying to muddy the waters as much as possible by introducing red herrings and contradicting yourself.

You're a lousy teacher.
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:34 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
It was in the past, that's why could was used.


You know, Izzy, it's one thing just to leap on a bandwagon because your nose is out of joint because you've been caught out. It's another thing entirely to lie or parade your astounding ignorance for that same reason.

Your reply, above, is terribly unclear. One doesn't know what to make of your maundering.

Were you once upon a time a "teacher"?

izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:50 am
@JTT,
The question was answered by McTag and Infra, right at the beginning, you've just complicated issues.

You're a lousy teacher. I bet you've been told that plenty of times before when your bosses have asked to have a word. You overcomplicate everything, and are not remotely interested in helping people out, just pandering to your own ego.

JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 09:58 am
@izzythepush,
Man, you really are a lying son of a bitch, Izzy!!

Quote:
jtt: Has Jack gone to London, Jack? Does "he could go to London" signal that Jack has gone to London?


Quote:
Izzy: No, but it does signify that the statement was made in the past. The immediate past, but still the past.


This is what we were on. You don't possess near the mental wherewithal to engage in these matters. You are only here to stir up ****. You obviously have no interest in the truth.

You're all over the map. And you have been recently chastising some folk for doing that too.

Quote:
You overcomplicate everything,


Like my explanation to you to lift you out of your ignorance about how Reported Speech works; which you are trying desperately to avoid discussing.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 10:02 am
@izzythepush,
Were you once upon a time a "teacher"?
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 10:26 am
Let's recast JTT's imaginary dialogue a bit:

JTT (yesterday): So, can you go to London?
Sally (yesterday): Yes, I can go.

JTT (today): So, yesterday I asked you if you could go to London, and you said you could, but you didn't use those exact words, did you?
Sally (today): No, I said 'I can go', not 'you could', but I definitely could go, I'd asked me mum and she said yes.
<JTT gnashes teeth>

It's not reported speech, it's actual (if imaginary) speech, and what are you doing trying to lure underage girls to London, JTT?
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 10:31 am
@MontereyJack,
Let's do try to explain the language point you are trying to get across, Jack.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 10:48 am
oh, you still haven't processed it? My goodness, you are running slow today, aren't you? The past tense of "can" exists, and it is "could". There, simple enough even for you to understand.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:01 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
Let's recast JTT's imaginary dialogue a bit:

JTT (yesterday): So, can you go to London?
Sally (yesterday): Yes, I can go.

JTT (today): So, yesterday I asked you if you could go to London, and you said you could, but you didn't use those exact words, did you?
Sally (today): No, I said 'I can go', not 'you could', but I definitely could go, I'd asked me mum and she said yes.
<JTT gnashes teeth>

It's not reported speech, it's actual (if imaginary) speech,


What I asked, Jack, is this;

"Let's do try to explain the language point you are trying to get across."

What's reported speech and what's not reported speech?




Quote:
and what are you doing trying to lure underage girls to London, JTT?


That's very izzyish of you, Jack. It seems you and Izzy are the ones obsessed with such things.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:06 am
That's your point, JTT, not mine. I'll leave you to get on with it.
Izzy as a role model is a far more sensible aspiration than you are.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:19 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
That's your point, JTT, not mine. I'll leave you to get on with it.


Thanks for making clear, Jack, that you don't know what you are talking about.


Quote:
Izzy as a role model is a far more sensible aspiration than you are.


Of course that's what you would think considering you two share this obsession with young ladies.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:22 am
Izzy is a charming, cosmopolitan man of the world, a man of great charm and savior faire, of sparkling intellect, warmth, humor, and achievement. You, in contrast, are a drab, humorless twit, albeit pretentious and arrogant with scant reason.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:30 am
JTT, you, if you can remember, were the one who bitched that the examples provided of the use of "could" as past tense were reported speech (which, by the way, ignored the ones that weren't) which you have for your own purposes, deemed inadmissible. I have, therefore, provided a number of examples that can in no way be construed as reported speech (which, I notice, you have ignored too). Face facts, for once in your life. You're wrong.
 

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