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  1. #1

    can, could, be able to

    What is the best way of explaining can, could, be able to in present, past and future, using meaning, form and structure?

    Any good ideas? I want to be visual if I can but I have no inspiration.


    Best wishes,
    Margot.

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    #2

    Re: can, could, be able to

    I honestly think that there are too many uses of can/could to cover in one go- it can be used for permission, ability, possibility, etc. I'd select a single use and look at that.

  2. #3

    Re: can, could, be able to

    Thanks for your response. I agree with you and think I should just concentrate on the single use.

    Regards,

    Margot.

    • Member Info
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      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #4

    Re: can, could, be able to

    If you're introducing them to students, then it's a good idea to do that, rather than overloading them with different senses, especially if they have language backgrounds where each use might be done in a completely different way. Ability is a nice easy one to start with and the present and past are easy to contrast and follow the pattern of past tense for past time, whereas with permissiion, the past tense can be used for present or future time, which can cause confusion.

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