how can/could

Definition of how can/could

  1. 1 —used to show that one thinks that someone has done or said something shocking or wrong “We don't need his help anyway.” “How can you say that?!” How could she just walk away from her children like that?

  2. 2 —used to express doubt that something will happen, is possible, etc. How could I (ever/possibly) leave this job? How can I (ever/possibly) thank you?

  3. 3 informal —used to show disappointment in someone's actions, thoughts, words, etc. He threw away my gift? Oh, how could he?

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  in what manner or way

    :  for what reason :  why

    :  with what meaning :  to what effect

  1. :  the way or manner in which

    :  the state or condition in which

    :  that

  1. :  a question about manner or method

    :  manner, method

  1. :  know, understand

    :  to be able to do, make, or accomplish

    :  to have knowledge or skill

  1. :  a usually cylindrical receptacle:

    :  a vessel for holding liquids

    :  a drinking vessel

  1. :  to put in a can :  preserve by sealing in airtight cans or jars

    :  to hit (a golf shot) into the cup

    :  to hit (a shot) in basketball

  1. : canceled; cancellation

    : cannon

    : canto

couldplay
  1. : past tense ofcan

    : used in auxiliary function in the past , in the past conditional , and as an alternative to can suggesting less force or certainty or as a polite form in the present


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up how can/could? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!