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The Use Of Can, Could, Be Able To And Be Allowed To.

The Picture Is To Illustrate Can, Could, Be Able To


Can, Could And Be Able To: Ability.


Most times we make use of be able to instead of can and could to speak about ability. We don't use be able to -


*When we discuss about something that is happening, as we talk:

The Picture Is To Illustrate A Boy Standing On One Leg Before His Dad


'Watch me, Dad, I can stand on one leg.'


'Not watch me, Dad, I'm able to stand on one leg'.


*Before Passives


Films can now easily be flooded online. (Rather than films are now easily able to be flooded online.)


*When The Meaning Is 'Known How To'


√ Can you cook? (Rather than are you able to cook?)


*If We Talk About A Single Achievement, Rather Than A General Ability In The Past, We Usually Use Be Able To Rather Than Could. 


Compare:

The Picture Is To Illustrate A Boy Playing Piano


√ Goodluck could play the piano very well (a specific achievement).


√ Or was able to play the piano very well (a general ability).


√ He Swam strongly and was able to cross the river easily; even though it was swollen by the heavy rain. (a general achievement)


Not she swam strongly and could cross the river easily;...... (a specific achievement)


However, could is usually more natural than be able to in

 

*Negative Sentences.


√ I tried to move my hands but I couldn't move them.


*With Verbs Of The Senses


For example, feel, hear, see, smell, taste, and with verbs of 'thinking', e.g. believe, decide, remember and understand.


√ I could remember the accident vividly well, but nothing after that.

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Use Of Can

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