Can and Can´t

Abilities in the present

When you want to express your abilities you need to use “can /can’t + a verb”. Check the next information:


We use can to say we have the ability to do an activity, check the next examples:

I can swim.

James can play bowling.

Daniel can speak five languages.

Hellen can dance all kind of music.

Peter and Patrick can play a musical instrument.


We use can't (or cannot) to express the lack of ability. Check the examples:

I can't swim.

Peter can't play bowling.

Sara can't speak English.

Nills can't dance.

Jack can't play the guitar.


We use can beginning of the questions to ask about the ability of someone or something. Check the next examples:

Can you swim?

Can you play bowling?

Can you speak Spanish?

Can Nills dance?

Can you play the guitar?

Writing exercise

Complete the conversations. Use the correct form of the verb CAN ( affirmative, negative, or interrogative).

A: Hi, Danny! How are you doing?

B: I’m great! I’m going to my swimming lessons?

A: Really? Canyou swim?

B: Not yet! Can you swim?

A: Yes, I can. I’m very good at swimming.

A: Hi Angie!

B: Hello Mario! How’s everything going?

A: Everything’s good. Look, I’m planning a party in my house next Saturday. Can you invite some friends?

B: Sure! I can tell Gris and Lety to come.

A: Awesome. Can they dance Salsa music?

B: I think Lety can but Gris can´t. Sorry.

A: Never mind. We’ll have a lot of fun.

A: Hello Laura!

B: Hi Angie!

A: Can we talk? I need to tell you something.

B: Yes, we can.

Writing exercise

Use the words given to form sentences.

1. you / climb a mountain / can / ?

Can you climb a mountain?

2. Mathematics/ Peter and Rose / understand / can’t

Peter and Rose can’t understand Mathematics.

3. I / write a poem / but / want to / I can’t / to my mom

I want to write a poem to my mom but I can’t.

4. in the sea/ ? / Can / dive / Robert

Can Robert dive in the sea?

5. can / Fabs / pass / easily / exams

Fabs can pass exams easily.

6. skate / can / My daughter / on ice

My daughter can skate on ice.

7. can’t / do / This magician / magic tricks

This magician can’t do magic tricks.

8. very well / Hugo / can / draw

Hugo can draw very well.
Listening practice Check false exercise

Listen to the conversations. Decide if the sentences are affirmative or negative. Choose the correct option.