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  1. #1
    mafto is offline Junior Member
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    Default Verb CAN for talking about the future

    Good evening, I know that for the future, "will be able" is a good substitute for "can".
    However, I´ve noticed, that "can" can be used for future abilities as well.
    E. g. I can start working an hour later tomorrow should be OK, while *She can swim after she finishes our course is incorrect and "will be able" should be used instead.

    So what´s the rule? I think I´ve seen somewhere that if we talk about decisions done at the time of speaking, we can use "can", and when we talk about future abilities, we can´t use it.
    Or is it related to being allowed to do something? The first sentence seems to me to express exactly the idea - I am allowed to start later or I can afford to start later..
    Please, explain.
    Thank you very much :)

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Verb CAN for talking about the future

    Quote Originally Posted by mafto View Post
    Good evening, I know that for the future, "will be able" is a good substitute for "can".
    However, I´ve noticed, that "can" can be used for future abilities as well.
    E. g. I can start working an hour later tomorrow should be OK, while *She can swim after she finishes our course is incorrect and "will be able" should be used instead.

    So what´s the rule? I think I´ve seen somewhere that if we talk about decisions done at the time of speaking, we can use "can", and when we talk about future abilities, we can´t use it.
    Or is it related to being allowed to do something? The first sentence seems to me to express exactly the idea - I am allowed to start later or I can afford to start later..
    Please, explain.
    Thank you very much :)
    You are confusing "can" (am allowed to) and "can" (will be able to). You can substitute "may" for "can" in the first example.

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