Reply to "The use of can and could"

Yes, Linda, that "could" expresses present possibility or ability, and is more tentative, less categorical than "can":

- I don't think anybody could (= would be in a position to) say as to that particular man just what the influence of that accident or that concussion was.

- I don't think anybody can (= is in a position to) say as to that particular man just what the influence of that accident or that concussion was.

Mathers is unsure about the actual consequences of the accident on the person's current behavior, and expresses that uncertainty by means of "could."

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