Questions tagged [can-modal]

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Is there a way to clearly distinguish between scenarios that accept both “can” and “will be able to” and those only “will be able to”?

Is my analysis correct? I think in type 1 conditionals, "can" and "will be able to" are both acceptable in some scenarios while in others not. "Can" means opportunity or ...
Chien Te Lu's user avatar
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0 answers
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"The scariest thing he can/could be called is the Reaper" [closed]

Example 1 A: He has been feared and reported by many soldiers on the battlefield. B: I know this guy. He's quite famous and has been mentioned in many reports. The HQ has given him several codenames. ...
Chien Te Lu's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
171 views

Is it correct to use 'could' to describe present ability?

The following conversation is taken from the movie, The Menu (2022)[spoiler alert]: Peter: I mean, really, you should have your own place. Right? Lilian (a food critic): And I could help you with ...
J.a.deb's user avatar
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0 answers
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Difference between "can" and "could" in context

Can you please tell me if native speakers of English would sense any difference in meaning beween can and could in the context below? Unfortunately we don't have anyone available who can come and fix ...
Dmytro O'Hope's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
1k views

can never vs. never can

Is there any difference between 2 sentences: Steve can never find time for us. He needs to be more respectful. Steve never can find time for us. He needs to be more respectful. If there is, please ...
Roro's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
167 views

Can + verb grammar suggestion MS Word

In the sentence The presence of a university can also shape… MS Word suggests writing "can also shapes...": What's happening here?
Maël's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
219 views

Be careful climbing that tree. You (can / could) fall

Be careful climbing that tree. You (can / could) fall. The answer is "could". I would choose "could" if I had to, but I can't seem to explain why "can" doesn't work here....
listeneva's user avatar
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0 answers
359 views

Can you, Will you, Could you and Would you?

One of my textbooks says that "would you ~?" is the politest of the four to ask someone a favor. Another textbook, however, says that "will you" is the least polite and that "...
kuwabara's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
365 views

When you ask someone a favor, which is more appropriate, "Can you" or "Are you able to"?

https://poligo.com/ja/node/4096 This website says "Can you cook?" means "Do you know how to cook?" and that "Are you able to cook?" means "Do you have time to cook?&...
kuwabara's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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"Can" and "be able to"

https://poligo.com/ja/node/4096 I'm confused with the explanation on the website. It says that when you talk about ability, both "can" and "be able to" are OK, and that the ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Make a point of

'You can borrow my car if you like' is a more gracious offer than 'You may borrow it'; the first presumes the granting of permission, while the second makes a point of it. CONTEXT (I find the ...
GJC's user avatar
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"Can" can be used in the past?

About the title, I didn't mean something like: Did you can... (because, of course we can use in the past since there's "did"). What I've known, could can also be the past simple form of can. ...
user516076's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Can I use 'can' for making suggestions?

All of the grammar books I've read say I have to use 'could' for making suggestions, but none of them say so about 'can'. My question is: Is it valid to use 'can' for making suggestions? For example: ...
Gabriel Coronel's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
67 views

You can stay here if you like

You can roast chicken whole or in pieces if you want to/if you like. You could roast chicken whole or in pieces if you want to/if you like. You can stay here if you like. Q1) Does sentence (1) ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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2 answers
161 views

Can have p.p. VS could have p.p.?

What is difference between these two sentences? Are these both grammatically right? Where could jack have put the matches? Where can jack have put the matches?
mike's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
40 views

Will _ would and Can_Could differences

I read the below article in "The Hindu" newspaper: The state government has imposed restrictions on gatherings with immediate effect. Only 50 persons would be allowed at gatherings. The ...
Ramteja Guthikonda's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

"Can": meaning in general and particular contexts

Suppose my friend John is going to cycle in the city. Before he leaves the house, I say this to him to warn him against cycling in the city: It can be dangerous to cycle in the city if you don't stay ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
24 views

Which should we use?'Can' or 'could'?

Is it possible to use 'can' instead of 'could' in this sentence? It encouraged me to bring my old coats for the homeless so that they could stay warm.
Bob's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
29 views

cannot be diligent

Someone told me "cannot" isn't used properly in the following because it means "incapable or unwilling." Do you think it's incorrectly used? I saw it being used to talk about ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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1 answer
882 views

Is there a difference between "can't" or "couldn't"?

He spoke so quickly that I can't understand him at all. He spoke so quickly that I couldn't understand him at all. What is more correct?
Throwaway account's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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can - be able to in the same sentence

Is it possible to use them in the same sentence? For example, I can swim, but today I am not able to, because I have hurt my leg. Many natives find the sentence not idiomatic. What do you say?
user1425's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can't have + V3 or Couldn't have + V3

Is there any difference between the following sentences? If Jones was at work until six, he can't have done the murder. If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder.
Mrt's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
232 views

Can/will vs could/would in IF clause

I have a question about can vs could in the IF clause. If you could contact us directly, it would be helpful. If you can contact us directly, it will be helpful. Which one do you think is ...
Mango Gummy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
258 views

(Why + can) - Is it a possible structure?

If I said: It can be insecure since it has two possible ways of getting forged. Then, would it be possible to ask the question like this: Why can it be insecure? I find it unnatural and maybe ...
Learning Equals Success's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
213 views

Could have vs could in an example (single event vs longer time period)

I would like to know whether I get it right: The siblings lived with abusive parents. They could run away anytime if they wanted. Would this be correct if I mean this as their ability over the ...
John V's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
187 views

How can I convince people that Could is the past form of Can?

Here in Korea, a lot of public educations are not in a great state. People have been educated too simply that the past "Tense" of Can is Could. But they never learned or been told deeply, so they get ...
dolco's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
236 views

Can vs. Will be able to

We use can to talk about future actions which we will be able to do because of present ability, present circumstances, present decisions etc. • She can win the race tomorrow if she tries really ...
Yuri's user avatar
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