Answered By: Writing Center
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2015     Views: 1

We often use can or could to ask people to do things. It connotes requests. 

e.g.: Can you do me a favor? I wonder if you could help me.

Can or could are also used to ask for something.

e.g.: Can I have these postcards, please? Could I have the salt, please?

We also use can or could to ask for and give permission.

e.g.: Could I use your phone? You can use the phone.

Sometimes we use can to offer to do something.

e.g.: Can I get you a cup of coffee?

Would is used to connote offering and inviting.

e.g.: Would you like a cup of coffee?

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