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 How would you illustrate the words "said" "would" "could"?

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One great way to illustrate different word meanings while you are learning a second language is by selecting one SAME scenario and representing, with either colors or pictures, how the scenario changes when only one word is changed.

The connection between the words "said", "would", and "could" suggests that, depending on which word is used, an action will be completed, or may not be completed.

For this reason, one way to illustrate this is by using one sentence, changing the one word, and then using a color for each changed sentence.

For example:

  1. My boyfriend said that he will get me a corsage for the prom.
  2. My boyfriend could get me a corsage for the prom.
  3. My boyfriend would get me a corsage for the prom.

In sentence 1, the boyfriend said something, so the action is likely to be completed; he is likely to give his girlfriend a corsage for the prom.  By using the word "said", the chances are higher than by using "could" or "would".  Hence, go ahead and color that sentence GREEN, because it is a potential "OK", or a "go".

Sentences 2 and 3 show conditional words. In sentence 2 there is a condition in which the word "could" means that the action is likely to be completed should a specific situation present itself or lend itself viable. It is almost certain that the action is able to be completed; all it needs is the proper conditions for it to occur. Color this sentence yellow, the way that a traffic light is yellow to suggest "warning, or possibility, or condition".

Sentence 3 uses the conditional "would" under the light of past tense; "had" a situation presented itself, something "would" take place, and then the action can be completed. Out of the three, this sentence is the most distant from possibility of happening in the present, therefore, that sentence should be colored RED.

Another suggestion is for you to create a cartoon using ToonDoo or any MS office clip art with the speech bubble shape in which you show a face changing expressions from "said", to "could", to "would". Ensure that the "said" face is happy, the "could" face is looks a bit hopeful, and the "would" face looks incredulous or a bit disappointed.


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