If I understand this right, this conditional tense can be used both for what was possible/probable in the past as well as for what could be/would be for the future?
I am used to seeing this tense in sentences such as
¿Podría llamarme mañana?
Could you call me tomorrow?/ Would you be able to call me tomorrow?
We can use a verb in the conditional to express what was probably happening in the past (especulation) as explained in that lesson:
Ayer Juan no vino al trabajo por la tarde.
-Oh!, estaría enfermo.
-Yesterday Juan didn't come to work in the afternoon.
-Oh! he was probably ill. (he must have been ill)
You could have also used poder in the conditional for speculation of the past here by saying something like:
-Oh! No podría venir porque quizás estaba enfermo.
But using podría for a polite request is also correct:
Could you call me tomorrow?
¿Podría prestarme un bolígrafo por favor?
Could I borrow a pen please?
I hope this clarified it.
Using podría in this sense is a more polite way of saying puedes llamarme mañana.
I now see the link for the related Spanish topic: El Conditional Simple. I just never knew that the conditional can be used to talk about both the past and future, and it does say in the related link, "El Condicional Simple expresses hypothetical actions that would or might happen in the past and in the future." I just wanted to make sure that they weren't 2 separate tenses for talking about the future and past.
I put a bad example in my 1st question with the use of podría. Maybe I should have used something like jugaría or hablaría...
My doubt has been cleared up, thanks :)
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