The modal verb Could – Negative form

You will study how to make the negative form of Could.


The modal verb Could – Negative form

British Medieval Drama

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the underlined words.

In the Middle Ages, drama in the vernacular languages of Europe couldn’t emerge from any other enactment than liturgy. Mystery plays were presented on the porch of the cathedrals or by strolling players on feast days. Miracle and mystery plays, along with moralities and interludes, later evolved into more elaborate forms of drama, such as was seen on the Elizabethan stages. Another form of medieval theatre was the mummers’plays, a form of early street theatre associated with the Morris dance, concentrating on themes such as Saint George and the Dragon and Robin Hood. These were folk tales re-telling old stories, and the actors travelled from town to town performing these for their audiences in return for money and hospitality.

British literature. Retrieved and adapted January, 2017 from

Getting started: Mystery plays

Instructions: Read about Mystery plays and miracle plays:

Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song. They developed from the 10th to the 16th century, reaching the height of their popularity in the 15th century before being rendered obsolete by the rise of professional theatre.

British literature. Retrieved January, 2017 from

Medieval mystery plays

Instructions: Match the two halves of the sentences.

developed in the 18th century.among the latest formally developed plays in medieval Europe.focused on the representation of common stories.

1. Mystery plays and miracle plays couldn’t be _______________

2. Medieval mystery plays couldn’t be _______________

3. They couldn’t be _______________

Let’s learn how to make the Negative form of Could.

Instructions: Look at the following information about the modal verb Could in the negative form.

Remember: We use the modal verb Could to express possibility or past ability as well as to make suggestions and requests.


  • Possibility: The river could flood the city because of the rain.
  • Past ability: David could run very fast when he was young.
  • Suggestion: You could see a movie or go out to dinner.


Look at the word order in the negative form:

SubjectAuxiliary Could + notVerb (Simple form)Complement.
Icouldn’ttravelto London.
Susycouldn’tworkmore to travel.
The girlscouldn’tstudyin a different school.



English biblical collections

Instructions: Choose the right options in the following text.

  1. There couldn’t be / couldn’t been more than four complete or nearly complete extant English biblical collections.
  2. The most complete couldn’t exist / couldn’t existed in Oxford cycle of forty-eight pageants.
  3. They couldn’t be / couldn’t was performed in the city of New York, in the middle of the fourteenth century.
  4. Besides the Middle English drama, there couldn’t be /couldn’t were more than three surviving plays in Cornis.
done Check


A religious base

Instructions: Change the following sentences to the negative form.

  1. The morality play could be a genre of Modern times. .
  2. Early Tudor theatrical entertainment could represent a religious base for European theatre. .
  3. Morality plays could depict a kind of fable. .
  4. Morality plays could be the most popular in Europe during the 20th century. .
done Check



Instructions: Place couldn’t in the appropriate place:

  1. The Somonyng of Everyman be from the last century. .
  2. It be a romantic play. .
  3. Everyman examine the question of nowadays salvation. .
  4. Christian salvation use fictional characters. .
done Check