Choosing the correct tense for 'could'

FrankC1Kwiziq Q&A regular contributor

Choosing the correct tense for 'could'

I often get this wrong, so is there a lesson that explains could?  I looked and could not find one.  In the sentence, "Could you describe your symptoms to me?" the correct choice is present conditional, "Pourriez-vous me décrire vos symptômes ? ".  Now consider a later sentence, namely "Can I have your name please?” with the hint ”Could you confirm?"  In so far as I know, in English we could use ’can’ interchangeably with ’could’ in both exemples without changing the meaning.  Perhaps some guidance in the choice of a French tense would help me in the future.  Thanks in advance. 

Asked 6 days ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Frank,

The hint "could you confirm" has been removed from the exercise as it should not have been there. The previous sentence  "Could you describe your symptoms to me?" is specifically asking for Le Conditionnel Présent as you pointed out. However, there should not have been a hint for "Can I have your name please?" as we made changes before publishing this exercise (and the hint was left by mistake). I'm sorry for the confusion.

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

Choosing the correct tense for 'could'

I often get this wrong, so is there a lesson that explains could?  I looked and could not find one.  In the sentence, "Could you describe your symptoms to me?" the correct choice is present conditional, "Pourriez-vous me décrire vos symptômes ? ".  Now consider a later sentence, namely "Can I have your name please?” with the hint ”Could you confirm?"  In so far as I know, in English we could use ’can’ interchangeably with ’could’ in both exemples without changing the meaning.  Perhaps some guidance in the choice of a French tense would help me in the future.  Thanks in advance. 

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