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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Modals ( can / could )    

Modals ( can / could )


Modals ( can / could )
Hello everybody

What is the difference in meaning between the following three sentences?

1) I can save her...

2) I could save her...

3) I could have saved her...

I need your opinion. PLEASE, help me.

Thanks in advance


24 Jan 2014      

United Kingdom

1) I can save her = I am able to. I have got the capacity to ...
2) I might save her, but I might not, it depends on what follows...You may be pondering whether to save her or not. It �s a possibility.
3) You didn �t actually save her, but you would have been able to if you had tried or wanted to. It may also be a regret.

Hope this helps!

24 Jan 2014     


That �s so kind of you , Lynne. It really helps.

24 Jan 2014     


1. Ability 
2. Possibility or probability
3. Inability or Regret

24 Jan 2014