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英会話イーオン Presents Ian先生のやさしい Grammar Lesson

2018.09.28 Issue:’Can’

“Can” is an English modal that has many uses. Today, let’s look at how we use “can” in conversation.
“Can” is used to talk about abilities. It means we are able to do something, or we know how to do something. For example:

・I can speak Chinese, Japanese and English.
・This printer can print in black and white and in color.
・He can’t see very well without his glasses.

 

“Can” is also used to ask for permission or to give someone permission to do something. “Can’t” is used when you don’t give permission.

・Can I have a piece of cake?
・You can sit anywhere you like.
・If you don’t eat your meal, you can’t have any pudding.

 

We often use “Can I … ?” or “Can we … ?” to offer to do something for someone.

・Can I help you with your homework?
Can we take you out to dinner tonight?

 

We also use “I can …” and “We can …” to offer to do something. This sounds more direct than “Can I / we …?”

I can lend you my umbrella.
We can drive you to the station.

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Ian Fogelman
イアン・フォゲルマン

英会話イーオン東京本社教務課コーディネーター。イーオン教師のトレーニングや英語セミナーを企画制作するカリスマ教師として活躍中。カリフォルニア大学バークレー校卒業。趣味は読書、料理、クラフトワーク。

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