Translation of could in French:

could

Pronunciation: /kʊd; kəd/

modal aux

  • 1 (be able to) pouvoir I couldn't move je ne pouvais pas bouger she couldn't come yesterday elle n'a pas pu venir hier
  • 2 (know how to) savoir he couldn't swim il ne savait pas nager she could speak four languages elle parlait quatre langues
  • 3 (permission, requests, suggestions) pouvoir we could only go out at weekends nous ne pouvions sortir or nous n'avions le droit de sortir que le week-end could I speak to Annie? est-ce que je pourrais parler à Annie? could you help me? pourrais-tu m'aider?
  • 4 (with verbs of perception) I couldn't see a thing je n'y voyais rien they couldn't understand me ils ne me comprenaient pas we could hear them laughing on les entendait rire
  • 5you could have died tu aurais pu mourir they could have warned us ils auraient pu nous prévenir I could be wrong je me trompe peut-être if only I could start again si seulement je pouvais tout recommencer

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