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4 votes

Can + verb grammar suggestion MS Word

Essentially, what's happening here is that you have discovered why grammar checkers are so bad You should turn off MS Word's grammar checker. It is (or rather its creators are) not, apparently, aware ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

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

It's perfectly acceptable to use "Why can..." though it's more common to hear "Why can't..." Often "Why can" is used in comparisons, whether explicit or implicit. Explicit: "Why can my sister ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 11k
4 votes
Accepted

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

You are right that "could" is used as the past tense of "can". The likely reason for the confusion among your peers is that "can" is a modal verb; that is an auxiliary verb that indicates necessity or ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 105k
3 votes
Accepted

can never vs. never can

Both are possible. We usually put never after the auxiliary verbs or the modals. Steve can never find time for us. We can put never before the auxiliary verbs/modals to emphasize that two statements ...
Mohammad Farukh Ahmad's user avatar
3 votes

Can + verb grammar suggestion MS Word

What is happening is that the grammar checker has incorrectly identified the word "shape" as noun and not a verb. If your example is exactly as in the question: that is you have asked the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes
Accepted

Can vs. Will be able to

The difference appears to be the fact that she presently has the ability to win the race, but to make that potential real she has to try hard. She already is able to win. That ability is within her. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes

can - be able to in the same sentence

It sounds fine to me - maybe the phrasing is a little formal (people might usually say I can swim, but I can't today... just because it's a natural way of speaking) but there's nothing wrong with it ...
cactustictacs's user avatar
2 votes

Can't have + V3 or Couldn't have + V3

1: If Jones was at work until six, he can't have done the murder. it is not possible (now) that he did it (then) 2: If Jones was at work until six, he couldn't have done the murder. it was not ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
2 votes

Can/will vs could/would in IF clause

If you could contact us directly, it would be helpful. If you can contact us directly, it will be helpful. Both these sentences are right. They mean slightly different things. The first implies ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.4k
2 votes

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

The dialogue is similar to a bargaining exchange, by using "could", the food critic (Lillian) is telling the sous-chef (Katherine) that there is a possibility that she could get her own ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 27.8k
2 votes

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

This is a conditional "could". Normal conditionals use "would": I would be able to help you find your own place. You might want to use "can" instead of "be able&...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes
Accepted

"Can": meaning in general and particular contexts

Pragmatics. What does John know about cycling and his own place in the world. Is it reasonable that John would believe that he is special in that it would cause danger to other cyclists if John ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
2 votes

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

You can if their being able to stay warm has relevance to the present moment, otherwise you use the past tense.
LonelyDriver's user avatar
1 vote
Accepted

Can + verb grammar suggestion MS Word

It seems that your grammar checker is interpreting "university can" as a noun phrase - "university" (higher education institute) + "can" (metal container of food or drink)...
Quitting Due To Antisemitism's user avatar
1 vote

cannot be diligent

You have provided no context for this statement. As we don't know what conversation is going on, it is difficult to pin down the exact meaning. However emphasis is important. The meaning depends ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
1 vote

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

I understand the distinction that the website is trying to make, but I don't think it really exists. In the particular example it gives (my wife is asking about the possibility of me cooking a meal ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
1 vote

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

In common usage there’s really very little difference between the two. I’d slightly lean towards ‘can you’ but others may prefer ‘able to’. I’d also consider ‘could you’ and ‘would you’ to be more ...
Frog's user avatar
  • 172
1 vote

Make a point of

The "it" in "makes a point of it" refers to the granting of permission earlier in the sentence. The contrast being made, therefore, is between the presumption that permission has ...
RobJarvis's user avatar
  • 555
1 vote
Accepted

"Can" can be used in the past?

‘can't be’ means it's totally impossible, and ‘couldn't be’ means that it's almost impossible and it's often used in describing things happened in the past. E.g.:If one said: It couldn't have been an ...
Thomas Peng's user avatar
1 vote

Can I use 'can' for making suggestions?

Yes, using "can" is a common way of making a suggestion, or implying one by giving a possible choice. It's very casual/friendly/informal. Both can be used to make a suggestion. One ...
gotube's user avatar
  • 50.9k
1 vote
Accepted

You can stay here if you like

Your sentences are fine with either can or could. Both would be understood as a suggestion because of the context. It's fairly common to use can/could as synonyms in informal English, especially when ...
Billy Kerr's user avatar
  • 3,759
1 vote

Will _ would and Can_Could differences

I assume that the restrictions are currently in force, because the present perfect "has imposed". Both can/will and could/would are valid, and each indicates a different perspective of the ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
1 vote
Accepted

Can/will vs could/would in IF clause

You hit on the answer exactly when you notice that could seems unreal. It is more polite to use could in this context because making a request with could instead of can conveys the idea that it may ...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
  • 9,997
1 vote

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

"could have run away" fits better. Otherwise, it is OK. Personally, I use use (in this case) "at any time" instead of "anytime", but I cannot explain why - maybe it just flows better. So the end ...
virolino's user avatar
  • 9,199

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