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We Can...(Do It!)

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We use can and a verb to say if something is possible. 

  • can do a handstand.

  • You can sing really well.

  • Wow! He can run really fast.

  • We can play now.

  • They can come tomorrow.

Rory got a tent for his birthday.

OK, I can put up a tent, no problem.

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Hey Rory, can I help?

Where are the instructions?

Yes, you can help!

Ah, we can do it without the instructions!

We also use can to ask permission or make a suggestion.

  • Can I go to the toilet?

  • Can she try again later?

  • Can they sit at the front?

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Sure.

Ok, can you get me the instructions?

After a few hours...

When you ask someone to do something for you, use can.

  • Can you get that book for me?

  • Can you open the window?

  • Can you switch down the music? 

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At last!...Oh no! The zip is jammed. Mac, could you pull down the zip?

Hold on!

After a few more hours...

When you ask someone to do something for you, you can also use could.

  • Could you help me?

  • Could she get it for me?

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I can't put up a tent!

We can't give up! Hmmm!... I think I have an idea!

To form the negative, you add not. There's no space between can and not. In conversation, we usually say can't.

  • I cannot sing.

  • I can't sing.

  • You cannot come in. 

  • You can't come in.

  • Rory cannot put up a tent.

  • Rory can't put up a tent.

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Finally...

The goalpost! You are a genius! I could not have done it without you!

Of course you could! 

For the past, we use could.

  • When I found the instructions, I could put up the tent.

  • We played the match yesterday, but they couldn't come to see us.

tent

Glossary

zip

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  • instructions – instructions tell you how to do something

  • to be jammed – to not be able to move

  • genius - a really clever person

  • to give up – to stop doing something

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goalpost

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environment

10 Questions Quiz

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