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Friday Message: How to Use "Can"

ABA English: Friday Message |

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ABA English: Friday Message |
Friday Message

How to Use "Can"
Hello there!

How are you today? I hope you are well and that you are enjoying your Friday!

Your progress:

Beginners - Unit 8

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Can you speak English? Can I help make it easier for you? The questions I am asking are formed by using the modal verb “can.” It is a very important modal verb that is used all the time so I am going to show you how and when to use it correctly.

Ready? Let’s go!

can is used for the following:

- to talk about possibility or ability

- to ask or give permission

- to make requests.

To talk about ability or possibility, “can” is usually placed before the action verb. For example:

• James is a good sportsman. He can play tennis, football and cricket very well. (ability)

• Cathy can come to the party because she finishes work at 6. (possibility)

To form questions asking for permission, “can” is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

To give permission, “can” is placed after the subject.

Can I go to Lucy’s party on Saturday night?

Can I smoke in this room?

• You can take my car to work if yours isn’t working.

To form questions making requests, “can” is placed at the beginning of the sentence.

Look at some examples:

• Can I have a coffee please?

• Can you please help me paint my house this afternoon?

• Can you give me a lift to work?

For negatives we use “cannot” or the contraction “can’t”, for example:

• You can’t arrive late because it’s an important day.

• The boys can’t go out tonight as they have not finished their homework.

• He cannot play in the match as he is injured. (“cannot” is usually more emphatic)

I hope this quick lesson has been helpful for you. For more on “can”, please refer to Unit 50 and Unit 51 of the online ABA course.

Have a great weekend.

Bye for now!

Graham Weeks

Your ABA Teacher
We encourage you to return to the campus and keep studying. See you soon!
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