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Could vs Can (Is it correct to say, 'I think I could get the job'?)



 
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
"He said, she is happy"- In any situation, is this correct? | difference between after getting vs after got
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Could vs Can (Is it correct to say, 'I think I could get the job'?) #1 (permalink) Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:56 am   Could vs Can (Is it correct to say, 'I think I could get the job'?)
 

Thanks a lot for the answers I received regarding to my question on "Revert". I have another question to ask here.Is it correct to say,"I think I could get the job." My friend says it isn't correct usage because you can't use 'could' when you are speaking at the moment of time(Present Tense).He says that it implies I'm not so sure of getting it.He says I should say," I think I can get the job." Please clarify. Thanks!
Jps
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Could vs Can (Is it correct to say, 'I think I could get the job'?) #2 (permalink) Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:14 am   Could vs Can (Is it correct to say, 'I think I could get the job'?)
 

Hi JPS,

Both 'can' and 'could' relate to possibility/ability to differing degrees. When you say: I can do that, you are really saying it is possible for me to or I am able to do something. When you say: I could do that, you are saying it would be possible for me to or I would be able to do something.

Back to your sentence: I think I could get the job - you are saying that you believe you would be able/it would be possible for you to get the job. Time is not relevant here because the emphasis is on how likely you are to get the job and the use of 'could' isn't as definite as 'can'. In other words 'can' gives the sense of : Yes, that's no problem and 'could' suggests an element of doubt: Well, I think so but there are one or two problems.

Alan
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"He said, she is happy"- In any situation, is this correct? | difference between after getting vs after got
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