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Level: beginner

We use can and can't to talk about someone's skill or general abilities:

She can speak several languages.
He can swim like a fish.
They can't dance very well.

We use can and can't to talk about the ability to do something at a specific time in the present or future:

I can see you.
Help! I can't breathe.

We use could and couldn't to talk about the past:

She could speak several languages.
I couldn't see you.

Ability: can and could 1


Ability: can and could 2


Level: intermediate

We use could have to say that someone had the ability or opportunity to do something, but did not do it:

She could have learned Swahili, but she didn't want to.
I could have danced all night. [but I didn’t]

Ability: could have 1


Ability: could have 2



Hi Ernesto

This is an interesting example. Some of my teachers, the young friendly ones, would avoid using 'must' to deflect their students' negative reactions to being told what to do.

For example, if a young friendly teacher saw a student listening to an ipod (well, it would have been a walkman back then), they would tell the student to put the ipod away. However, they would appeal to the student saying:

"I understand you are upset. It's not my decision. It's a school rule, you have to put it away." 

Other teachers seemed to enjoy their roles as enforcers of the school's authority. They would be more likely to use must.

"You must listen to me!"



The LearnEnglish Team



Thank you so much for your priceless help!

thanks , from such helpful descriptions about "Must and Have to" so, I hope you be fine all times .

ohh this is something really helpful :)

its useful to learn something of this topics...