How to Use CAN

Wordle: FUNCTIONS OF MODAL VERB CAN


It is very useful to think of the function which a modal verb such as ‘can’ provides.   Modal verbs can lend a range of meanings to the verbs that they accompany.  The function of the modal changes depending on the context in which it is used.

Can – Modal Auxiliary Verb (Function & Use)

Study the examples provided below:

Ability

  • I can swim.
  • Babies can’t talk.

Permission

  • Can I go smoke in here?
  • You can drive when you are 18 years old in Malta.

Possibility

  • Anything can happen.
  • I can’t come tomorrow.

Requests

  • Can I speak to Jim, please?
  • Can you show me the way?

Choices and Options

  • You can either smoke in the garden or in the smoking room.
  • When you’re 18, you can choose between studying and working.

Offers of Help

  • Can I help you?
  • Can I take your bags?

 

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