“Can” is used to talk about ability or make a request in an informal question.
I can ride a bike with my eyes closed. (Ability)
Can I go to the party, mom? (Requesting permission in an informal way)
“Could” is used to discuss ability in the past or make a request in a formal question.
As a child, I could do a cartwheel. (Ability in the past)
Could you be so kind as to point me toward the restrooms? (Formal request)
“Could” can also be used to show a future possibility that is not entirely certain.
There could be snow on the ground by this afternoon.
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The correct answer is
The smallest number is the one that comes first while counting.
To arrange the given numbers in order from smallest to greatest, find the smallest number among all the given numbers.
21 is the smallest number.