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    #1

    can do it less well

    e these sentences correct:

    1-I can speak French less well than you can.
    2-I am able to speak French less well than you can.

    I say 'I can't speak French as well as you can.' 1 and 2 sound as if I am saying that I could, if I wanted to, speak French less well than you can.

    Compare with:
    I can do it less badly than you can.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: can do it less well

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    e these sentences correct:

    1-I can speak French less well than you can.
    2-I am able to speak French less well than you can.

    I say 'I can't speak French as well as you can.' 1 and 2 sound as if I am saying that I could, if I wanted to, speak French less well than you can.

    Compare with:
    I can do it less badly than you can.
    #1 is possible, but we are far more likely to hear or say: 'I can't speak French as well as you can.'
    #2 is not impossible, but can is far more common than be able to when used with speak.

    Your final sentence has, to me, joking undertones.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: can do it less well

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    #1 is possible, but we are far more likely to hear or say: 'I can't speak French as well as you can.'
    #2 is not impossible, but can is far more common than be able to when used with speak.

    Your final sentence has, to me, joking undertones.
    I would say that #2 would only be possible as "I am able to speak French less well than you are". Even then, as you say, "I can't...as well as you can" is much more likely.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: can do it less well

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I would say that #2 would only be possible as "I am able to speak French less well than you are". Even then, as you say, "I can't...as well as you can" is much more likely.
    You are right, thanks. I was concentrating on the possibility of the combination of be able to and speak, and I missed the can at the end.

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