I've been teaching English in France for a year now and am amazed at how often I am having to consider how my own language works. The nuances come thick and fast.
Here is the current question I'm pondering:
If I stand in my garden why do I lean towards saying, "I can see flowers," rather than "I see flowers"?
It seems as though the context changes the construction. If someones asks me, "What can you see?" or, "What do you see?" I will answer with the same construction. However, "can" seems erroneous. If I see then obviously I can see. Is there an actual difference or is there simply a subtle current common usage which I have assimilated?