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In this lesson, we learn the use of can. Can is one of the modal verbs, which is used in English most frequently. It is used to describe ability or opportunity, capacity or quantity, to request or offer permission with an age group person, and to show possibility or impossibility.

We can understand it with some examples:

To offer permission / request:

Can you give me a hand?

Can you take him to the lunch?

Can I ask you a question, please?

Can I join you?

Can I tell you something?

To express Ability:

I can type this easily.

She can drive the car.

He can run faster.

He can solve the sums.

He can handle the situation.


You can do it in such a way.

You can accept the opportunity.

You can eat this.

Offer or invitation:

Can you come in the party?

Can you help us?

You can call me on my mobile?

She can do it if she is agree.

Can I drop you to your home?

Capacity/ quantity:

150 students can sit in this hall.

How many guests can sit in this room?

How many dancers can dance on this stage?

How much water can this pot contain?

How much milk can you take?


He can afford it. (money power)

I can purchase this car. (money power)

I can run more and more. (physical power)

I can jump from this tree. (physical power)

We can sort out this problem easily. (mind power)

I can solve the sums. (mind power)

So now if we want to use ‘Can’ in a negative sense so we will add not as ‘Can not’ in a sentence. Let’s understand with some examples in sentences:

I can not tolerate her.

We can not lose the game.

They can not face the problem.

She can not handle the situation.

He can not go anywhere.

You can not blame her.

We can also use the contraction of can not as “can’t”. so let’s understand with some examples in the sentences:

I can’t tolerate her.

We can’t lose the game.

They can’t face the problem.

She can’t handle the situation.

He can’t go anywhere.

Now start having conversation with help of it:

Question: can you____________________?

Reply positively: Yes, I can_________________.

Reply negatively: No, I can not/ can’t_____________.

Author: Shubham Swami

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