Use of Modal verb Can is used to express Choice, ability, inability, Opportunity and Permission/Request. In spoken English Can modal verb is informal to use it’s not a polite in speaking. For more polite we use Modal Verb Could.


Formula: Subject + Can + Verb 1st(form) + Object

Can + Verb

1stIt talks about Choice, Ability, Opportunity etc.

  • He can run fast.
  • Alina can cook food.
  • You can do whatever you want.
Formula: Subject + Can + Verb 1st(form) + Object

More Examples

Here are some more examples of Can with meaning and uses.

For Ability

We use modal verb can for when we are able or unable to do any work on current time.

  • I can surf well.
  • Ali can ride a bike.
  • They can pass the exams.
  • Ali can play good Cricket.
  • She can cook delicious food.

For Inability

  • She cannot cook good food.
  • He can’t speak French..
  • Ali can’t play the Guitar.
  • They can’t play Cricket.
  • We can’t sing a song.

For Permission & Request

We use can modal verb for Permission and Request, Be remember that it’s informal to use.

  • Can I go outside?
  • Can we go for a picnic?
  • Can you give me this book?
  • You can watch TV after you have finished your homework.

For Choice

We also use can modal verb for when we have a right to select or choose.

  • You can join us.
  • You can come with us, It’s up to you.
  • If you want to go outside, So you can.
  • You can take only two shirts from these.

For Opportunity

We also use can for when we have an opportunity to do something.

  • She can join the party.
  • You can play Cricket with Us.
  • Once school starts you can use the library.
  • If you want, so you can watch a movie with us.

For Offers & Invitations

We also use can for offers and invitations.

  • Can I help you?
  • I can do that for you if you like.
  • You can play Football with us.
  • Alina can come with us if she wants.

For Possibility

We also use can for possibility.

  • Australia can beat India.
  • Ali can catch that flight at 8 O’clock.
  • You can get the first position if you work hard.

For Impossibility

  • She can’t play cricket.
  • Ali can’t see you, He is away from you.
  • He can’t play guitar because he doesn’t know how to play.

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