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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Apr 2010
    • Posts: 425
    #1

    Post be able to VS can

    Why I cannot say "I can speak....."?
    Instead I have to use "will be able" in the sentence below.

    I will be able to speak French at the end of this course.

    Wholeheartedly grateful.

  1. nyota's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Polish
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      • Poland
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
    #2

    Re: be able to VS can

    You can use can if you're deciding now what to do in the future,
    e.g. I can see you tomorrow morning if you like.

    But otherwise, you have to use will be able to. So will be able to functions as a future form of can,
    e.g. One day I will be able to speak French/ I will be able to speak French at the end of this course.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • British English
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      • England
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      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: be able to VS can

    Nyota is correct, panicmonger.

    I'll just add, in case you didn't know, that we cannot use modals together.

    I will can speak French. I may must go.

    If we wish to express such ideas, we have to find alternative ways, such as:

    I will be able to speak French.
    It is possible that I will have to go.

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