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ABILITIES

Can Could Will be able to

Could: abilities in the past


Sometimes could is the past of can: we use it to say that someone had the ability to do something in the past. Examples: My grandfather could speak six languages When I was 16 I could run 100 metres in 11 seconds Tomas could write when he was only three

NEGATIVE SENTENCES are formed with could + not (couldn't)


He

couldn't play football when he was eight months old She couldn't swim when she was four. But at ten she became a champion swimmer... Einstein couldn't speak fluently until he was eight!

Yes /no questions with could


ENGLISH Could + subject + (infinitive of the verb)

Could
Could Could Could Could

play the piano

when I was ten ?

you write in the blackboard when you were five? he walk at five? when she was twelve? when it was a puppy? in the sixth century?

she sew It bring you the paper

Could

we understand this

Could

they dance rock

when they were teenagers?

There are many possible answers to the above questions:


Yes, no answers (positive) Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, I you he she it we they could could could could could could could yes, no aswers (negative) No, No, No, No, No, No, No, I you he she it we they couldn't couldn't couldn't couldn't couldn't couldn't couldn't

Some wh questions with could


What

sports could you play back in the seventies? Which languages could you speak when you were eleven? Who could undertand Chinese at six? How far could you swim when you were twenty?

Can: abilities in the present


Uses: If you say that you can do something, you mean you have the ability to do it, or you have the knowledge or skill to do it. There are of course other uses of can which will be explained later.

AFFIRMATIVE SENTENCES
Subject I you he she it we they + can can can can can can can can infinitive of verb speak sew play cook object Japanese

Note: Can has the same form for all the pronouns. It is invariable.

For negative sentences use can + not (can't)


subject I + can't can't infinitive of the verb speak object Japan ese

you
he she

can't
can't can't

sew
play dance

Interrogative forms
CAN Can Can Can Can + subject you he she they

infinitive of the verb


speak play make drive

object Japanese? tennis? a cake? ?

Short answers with can


Yes, no answers (positive) Yes, Yes, I you can can yes, no aswers (negative) No, No, I you can't can't

Yes,
Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes,

he
she it we they

can
can can can can

No,
No, No, No, No,

he

can't
can't can't can't can't

Wh questions with can


To make wh questions follow this structure: + verb can inf of verb? Wh word +subject

What How many languages What sports

can can can

he she you

do? speak? play?

Will be able to: abilities in the future


Affirmative
I will be able to play football. I'll be able to play football. will-future Do not use can in the will-future. I will be allowed to play football. I'll be allowed to play football.

Negations
I will not be able to play football. I won't be able to play football. I will not be allowed to play football. I won't be allowed to play football.

will-future

Do not use cannot in the will-future.

Questions
Will he be able to play football ? Will he be allowed to play football ?

will-future

Do not use can in the will-future.