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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #18185: Modal verbs
'Can', 'Could' and 'Be able to'
1. Ability: Can/Could/ was/were able to/ has/have been able to /will be able to
I can ride a horse now.
Last year , I couldn't ride a horse.
I faced many difficulties to learn how to ride a horse but by the end I was able to ride it.
Next year, I will be able to ride the most dangerous horses.
2. Inability: Can't/ cannot, wasn't/weren't able to, hasn't/haven't been able to, won't/ will not be able to
I can't / cannot swim.
3. Possibility: Can
The weather is cloudy, but we can go for a walk.
4. Impossibility: can't/ cannot
He is ill, he cannot / can't come today.
5. Request: Can/ could/ would/ will
Can/Could/Would/ Will you help me?
5. Permission: Can
Dad, can I go to the theatre with my friends this evening?
yes, you can
6. Prohibition: Cannot/ can't
No, you cannot/ can't go to the theatre.
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