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  1. #1
    mafto is offline Junior Member
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    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, Iīve 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 whatīs the rule? I think Iīve 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 canīt 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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    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, Iīve 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 whatīs the rule? I think Iīve 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 canīt 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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