How to use Can / Could

By Learn English - Tuesday, 16 April 2013 No Comments

Can :
Can is used to show power, ability, capacity
subject +can +verb in the present tense

 To tell Ability/ capacity
  • She can dance.
  • They can do it.
  • You can play.
  • We can speak English.
  • She can dance
 To make negative with can
  • He cannot read.
  • You cannot play
  • It can rain today.
  • It can train today.
  • He can win this competition.
  • Can I go?
  • Can I go to movie?
To give permission
  • Yes you can go.
  • No, you can go.
Can in short form
  • Can you help me?
  • Can you read? No I couldn’t I can’t.
 Uncertainty of  past
  • He can have reached by now.
  • He can have heard the news by now
  • She can have sold her jewelry.

Uses of Could

"Could" is also used to show power/ability/capacity
Could is past form of can.
  • He could read.
  • He could play.
  • She could dance.
  • In my younger days could run miles at a stretch.
  • she could not dance.
  • She couldn’t sing.
  • They couldn’t/could not play.
  •  Could you lend me your book?
  • Why couldn’t you finish you work in time?
  • Could I have a cup of coffee?
  • Could you please take me to the owner of this clinic?
  • Could you give me a lift by your car?
  • She could pass if she worked hard.
  • I could have helped him if he had told me.
  • I could h he could have passed the examination.
  • He could have avoided that fight.
  • I could have believed in him.
  • I could have buy   car if I had money
Indirect narrations
  • She asked me if I could help her.
  • He said that he could not go there.


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