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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #47086: Modal : can/could
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Modals [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Modal can (video) - Modal : may/might - Modal verb : must / have to - Modal verbs - Modal verbs - Rephrasing and modals - Absence of obligation - Could/Couldn't
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    Modal : can/could


    'Can' is a modal auxiliary.

     

    It does not take an  's' in the present tense:

    she can/he can

     

    The past tense is 'could'.

     

    You use it like an auxiliary in the interrogative and negative forms:

    can you...? / he can't / he cannot

     

    It has no infinitive form, 'to can' does not exist.

     

    It has no participle.

     

     If you want to use it in a tense which is not present or past you have to use

    'to be able to'

    He will be able to run

     

    He has been able to run

     

    Notice that you sometimes can say :

     

    'He is able to' instead of 'he can'

    'He was able to' instead of 'he could'

     

     

     

    'Can' is used to express :

     

     Possibility:

    He can run for hours

    He can swim

      Permission:

    He can open the window

    Can I go out Mum?

     It is used with some verbs (to hear,to feel,to smell,to see)  

    He can hear the birds

    He can see his dog

    He can feel a spider on his arm

     

     With a past infinitive: can or could

     What can have happened here ?

    He can't have done such a thing !

     He could have fallen !

    He could have told me that !

     Exercise: choose the right verb.





    English exercise "Modal : can/could" created by lucile83 with The test builder
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    1. She doesn't want to go to the swimming pool because she swim.
    2. We are going to the pictures tonight, Jane come with us if she wants to.
    3. Excuse me sir, please tell me where the railway station is ?
    4. I am sure she play the piano marvellously when she is older.
    5. It is hot in here, open the window please?
    6. He worked so hard ! He his exam if he had not missed his train and got there late.
    7. Oh Mum ! you have made a cake! I it when I entered the kitchen.
    8. That armchair was too heavy for Jim, you him.
    9. What's the matter with Helen? She didn't say a word tonight; are you sure she speak English?
    10. When she is older she drive her father's car.








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