Permission – Can, Could, May

Can I go to the party?

When we ask for permission to do something we use can, could, may. May is the most formal. Examples Can I go to the party? Could I ask a question? May I sit here?   If we want to be more polite we can use the following construction: Do you mind if I base form of verb Do you mind if I open the window? Do […]

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Can

I can swim.

Can is a modal verb and so always has the same form: I can You can We can You can He can She can It can They can After can we use the base form of the verb. Examples: I can swim. She can speak Spanish. The negative form of can is can’t. We use can to talk about ability and permission. Ability They can drive. She can’t use a computer. Permission He can’t go to […]

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Asking someone to do something

When we ask somebody to do something for us we can use the following forms: Could you help me please? Can you lend me five euros, please? A more polite form has the following construction: Would you mind -ing form of verb Would you mind opening the window, please? Would you mind passing me the salt? Would you mind not smoking?

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Ability – can, could, to be able to

We use can and could to talk about ability. We use can in the present and could in the past. can She can play the guitar. Can you speak Spanish? They can’t ride a bike. could She could read when she was three. My grandmother could play the piano very well. They couldn’t come last year because of the bad weather. Can and could are modal verbs and so have no infinitive, gerund or past […]

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