Could you please vs Can you please? What’s the difference?

“Can you please” and “could you please” have the same meaning in the context of requesting something from someone. 

Can you please help me?

Could you please help me?

Some people say that “could you please” is more polite but in reality, native English speakers use “can you” and “could you” interchangeably.

Read about when can and could are used differently and when they mean the same thing here. 

Can you? Could you? Difference

“Can you” and “could you” could have different meanings in the context of ability. 

Can you play the piano? (ability in the present)

Could you play the piano? (ability in the past)

“Could you?” could also have the context of suggesting something to do something. 

Could you try to set the table for one? Please?

Can you please? Could you please?

“Can you please” and “could you please” can only be used in the context of requesting something. This is because of the “please” directly after the “can you” and “could you” which suggests it is a polite request. There is no difference in meaning between “can you please” and “could you please”.

Although “can you please” and “could you please”  mean the same thing, there could be a slight difference in interpretation because of the fact that “could” has a hypothetical meaning in other contexts and “can” has a realistic meaning. People may tend to use “can” for requests that are easier to fulfill and “could” for when the request may be more difficult.

Can you please pass me the salt, please?

Could you please keep the noise levels down! 

“Could” and “can” could be used as alternatives in the above sentences with a change in meaning.