Definitions starting with C

ID #4177

could

/kud/, coulda /kúda/ [Vir. idem (Highfield); from could and could've] auxiliary verbs 1. can (no tense agreement): 1940 Wait, hold dat....a minnit till I cud make up mutt mind (Dupuch 31). Dem dreads coulda play good, eh?(Nassau).

2. [cf. US dial. South, GuI. might could, may could, ought to could ADD] possible co-occurrence with other modal verbs or quasi modal verbs: 1966 You better could cook (Crowley 112). You coulda !teddy do dat [i.e. may have had to] (filets,). cf. also MUSSY COULD(A), MIGHT(A) COULD(A), OUGHT(A) COULD(A)

◊ Shall and can have been lost in Black Bahamian Dialect and could has 'moved up' to cover the meanings of can, with coulda following, so that the latter is found expressing non-past irrealis as well.

Tags: auxiliary verb, grammar, modal

Related entries: -

Last update: 2012-01-16 17:00
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.1

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