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    • Join Date: May 2003
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    #1

    can and able to?

    Hello.............................

    Can and Able to have same meaning.

    But...............................

    When can we use can?

    And..............................

    When can we use able to?

    :wink:

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    #2
    In tenses where the two options exist, 'able to' is more used for single events and 'can' for general ability:

    I could swim when I was 8.
    Even though the sea was rough, I was able to swim to the shore safely.

  1. Anonymous
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    In tenses where the two options exist, 'able to' is more used for single events and 'can' for general ability:

    I could swim when I was 8.
    Even though the sea was rough, I was able to swim to the shore safely.
    Is that the same with:

    I can come next week if you like.
    I'm able to come next week if you like.

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    #4
    I said 'more used' because it would be rare to find a sentence where you could only use 'able to', except in forms where can doesn't exist, like the present perfect.

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