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Elementary

Elementary - Modal verb 'Can'

Written by
Monday, 08 June 2009

English grammar lesson on-line for elementary level students - An explanation of the use of the modal verb 'can' with audio explanation and printable exercises.

Positive

I

He/She/It

We/You/They

can

could

ride a horse.

Negative

I

He/She/It

We/You/They

can't

couldn't

dance the tango.

 

Question

What

can

could

I

he/she/it

we/you/they

do?

Can/ Can't

The modal can (negative: can't) expresses the capability to do something.
Can and can't have the same form in all persons.
We don't use the forms do and does with modals.
Can is followed by the infinitive without to.

  • She can play the piano really well.
  • He can't cook very well.
  • They can speak French but they can't speak Japanese.
  • A - Can you swim?
    B - Yes I can/ No I can't
  • A - She is very far from here! Can she hear me?
    B - Yes, she can/ No, she can't

Could/ Couldn't

Could (negative: couldn't) is the past of can, and has the same form in all persons.
Could is followed by the infinitive without to.

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Published in Modals
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Last modified on Sunday, 05 February 2017 21:55

Media

Can English Power (C) 2010

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