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

GapFillDragAndDrop_MTYzNTE=

Ability: can and could 2

GapFillTyping_MTYzNTM=

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

Matching_MTYzNTQ=

Ability: could have 2

ReorderingHorizontal_MTYzNTU=

Comments

check answers doesn't work

Hello Hallol,
It isn't available in True/False exercises; you should use 'See Answers' instead.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Really nice this review! :)

thank you for exhalent grammar

Hello!
I'm in trouble with few things and I'm looking for answers since I didn't find anything in grammar:
1. Can and could for making requests.
Can is informal and could is the formal one?
When we answer a request such: could you drive me there? Is it correct to use "yes, I could" for affirmative answer and "no, I couldn't" for negative?
2. Would and could for making requests.
Is there a difference between these two?
What about their answers? Is there any rule?}
I appreciate so much your answer ASAP.
Yared.
 

Hi Yared -
 
Good questions – I'll see if I can help!
 
In answer to question 1, yes, that's pretty much correct. Just remember that formality isn't on/off like a  light switch – it's  more like a line from very informal through to very formal, with can more towards informal, and could more towards formal. To answer the request, could sounds a little strange – and we only use could not for strong emphasis. Instead, just Yes (of course, sure) or No (usually with I'm sorry) are the best answers. 

For 2, I would say would +you+ verb is a little bit stronger than could +you+ verb. To answer, again, there's no real rule – but because there's no negative here, anything with Yes will be fine for the affirmative, and again no (with an apology or reason) for the negative. 
 
Don't forget you can use our search function to find more information – like this page on can and could.
 
Hope that helps, and enjoy the rest of the site!
 
Best Wishes
 
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

very good exercise...

website is awesome..i am learning english very effectively..i want to say thanks to the administrators..

oh please i like this website

Hello
I have a question
When we use" we must meet again soon"
Doesnt it mean im forcing that person to meet me soon?

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