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    #1

    can / is able to

    Your handwriting on the envelope is illegible. I wonder whether the postman can/is able to read the address you have written.

    Which is the correct verb?

    Thanks.


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    #2

    Re: can / is able to

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Your handwriting on the envelope is illegible. I wonder whether the postman can/is able to read the address you have written.

    Which is the correct verb?

    Thanks.
    Both work.


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    #3

    Re: can / is able to

    Quote Originally Posted by svartnik View Post
    Both work.
    Svartnik:

    I wonder whether the postman can to read the address you have written.
    I wonder whether the postman is able to read the address you have written.

    Shouldn't "to" be deleted?

  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: can / is able to

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Your handwriting on the envelope is illegible. I wonder whether the postman can/is able to read the address you have written.

    Which is the correct verb?

    "Can" is preferred in the sense of 'know how to', and in expressions like I can see, I can hear, etc.

    Can you knit? (More natural than Are you able to knit?)
    I can see a ship. (More natural than I am able to see a ship)

    One day scientists will be able to find a cure for cancer.
    One day scientists will can find a cure for cancer.



    Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Svartnik:

    I wonder whether the postman can to read the address you have written.
    I wonder whether the postman is able to read the address you have written.

    Shouldn't "to" be deleted?
    can to? No way.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: can / is able to

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    can to? No way.
    Even better is 'will be able to'.


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    #6

    Re: can / is able to

    Just like me, Tan did never mean can to. It is as obvious as the nose on your face.

    (S)he meant this and I am sure you knew that, still...

    I wonder whether the postman can/is able to read the address you have written.

    Again, both are possible.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: can / is able to

    I agree with bhaisahab, both are a little awkward compared to the more realistic "will be able to."


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    #8

    Re: can / is able to

    Your handwriting on the envelope is illegible. I wonder whether the mail carrier will be able to read the address you have written.
    Last edited by mailan; 30-Jun-2009 at 14:11. Reason: typos

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    #9

    Re: can / is able to

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I agree with bhaisahab, both are a little awkward compared to the more realistic "will be able to."
    I also agree that 'will be able' is better that 'is able'.

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