Can and Could Examples and Exercises
Can is used as a Principal verb to express
- Power or ability; as,
I can speak English. [=1 am able to speak English.]
He can work this machine.
He can outdo every competitor.
I can beat you in the race.
He is over eighty but can still read without glasses.
He is ten years old but can’t read yet.
Can you write English? No, I can’t.
Even as a child she could sing well.
The box was so heavy that I couldn’t lift it.
He could write English before he came to school.
I could write the letter in English if I wanted to.
I could have written the letter in English if I had wanted to.
I could not write English before I came to school.
Can is also used to denote ability resulting from circumstances. Can you come [= Are you in a position to come] to the meeting tomorrow?
Can you lend me ten shillings? [= Are you in a position to lend me ten shillings?]
- Permission; as,
You can go now, [= You are permitted to go now.]
Stop! You can’t do that! [= You are not allowed or permitted to do that.] You can’t play hockey in that park today! It’s Sunday.
Can I go to the cinema tonight? No, you can’t.
Can I see your telephone directory?
Could you lend me five pounds for a week?
Could I have that dictionary, please?