Can is an auxiliary verb, a modal verb:
- talk about possibility and ability
- make requests
- asking for or giving permission
is invariable. CAN does not change. Remember that:
- The main verb is always the bare infinitive.
Bare infinitive NEVER use CAN with TO
Correct - I can play the guitar
NOT - I can to play the guitar
Use of Can
can: Possibility and Ability
We use can
to talk about what is possible, what we are able or free to do:
- She can speak french
- Peter can play the guitar
We can use CAN in the future
- Sorry I cannot meet you today. But tomorrow I can come to the office
We use can for requests and orders (informal). We can use this to ask someone to do something.
- Can you make a cup of tea, please.
- Can you be quiet, please.
When we ask or give permission Can is informal
- Can I go to the toilet?
- You can go now.
Structure of Can
subject + can + main verb
I can swim
Can you swim?
I cannot swim or I can't swim
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