Google
English-Test.net
Find penpals and make new friends today!
 
process of turning money into profit
idea
capitalization
tax
variety
full quiz correct answer
 
Username
Password
 Remember me? 
Search   Album   FAQ   Memberlist   Profile   Private messages   Register   Log in 

Difference between can and be able to



 
ESL Forums | English Teacher Explanations (ESL Tests)
What is an entablature? | Change, fly, jog, eat
listening exercises
Message
Author
Difference between can and be able to #1 (permalink) Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:02 am   Difference between can and be able to
 

Test No. incompl/elem-7 "Modals", question 9

When will you ......... come and see us in our new house?

(a) can
(b) be able to
(c) must

Test No. incompl/elem-7 "Modals", answer 9

When will you be able to come and see us in our new house?

Correct answer: (b) be able to

Your answer was: incorrect
When will you can come and see us in our new house?
_________________________

Could you please identify the different between 'can' and ' be able to '? Since I was ensured that I could use ' can' in this sentence, I become surprised to find that my answer is wrong.
Thank you in advance.
Saifon
Saifon
Guest





Can #2 (permalink) Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:37 am   Can
 

The auxiliary can is a so called defective verb because there is no infinitive form and no past participle. This means that you have to use other words to replace these missing parts. You use the infinitive after will and so you use the alternative form be able, which acts as the substitute.
_________________
English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Present Simple
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 17284
Location: UK

Learn all about English adverbs in this amusing storyEnglish grammar exercises — improve your English knowledge and vocabulary skillsAre you a native speaker of English? Then you should read this!Read these English anecdotes and maybe smile today? Subscribe to free email English course
Difference between can and be able to #3 (permalink) Sat Jul 19, 2008 14:34 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

That's ok.
But, in this case:
After the accident he was no longer able to walk.
Could I use "can" or "could" in the case?
How would it be?
Daltomaciel
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 18 Jul 2008
Posts: 18

Difference between can and be able to #4 (permalink) Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:02 am   Difference between can and be able to
 

'After the accident he was no longer able to walk.'
'After the accident, he could no longer walk.'

Both are acceptable, yes. However, you might also hear the 2nd version as:
'After the accident, he couldn't walk.' or 'After the accident, he couldn't walk anymore.'
_________________
Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.
***
Did you hear they arrested the Energizer Bunny on battery charges?
***
Skrej
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 03 Jul 2008
Posts: 863
Location: Not-quite exact central USA

Difference between can and be able to #5 (permalink) Mon Jul 21, 2008 13:09 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

In my opinion, the difference kicks in, when you need to use "can" in the past tense and in affirmative sentences, as in:
1. He was able to climb the mountain on that date
2. In his youth, he could climb mountains
Lost_Soul
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 15 Sep 2006
Posts: 1861
Location: South Park, Colorado, USA

Can #6 (permalink) Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:21 am   Can
 

I'm sorry - but I have a question according to "can".

"Can" is also called a defective verb because it has no infinitive and no past participle. Can you please tell me what "could" is? I thought it is the past form of "can".

So this is wrong: I could buy that book.
And this is right: I was able to buy that book.

??

And another question: infinitive - is this the same as the base form of a verb? In school we learned verbs by saying "to live, to go..." Maybe the infinitive form is "to live" and the base form is "live"

thanks and
best regards
Sumade
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 20

Can #7 (permalink) Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:26 am   Can
 

Another question. I have problems with terms - so what is the difference between auxiliar verbs and modal verbs? :?

Sincerely,
Sumade
Sumade
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 20

Difference between can and be able to #8 (permalink) Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:59 am   Difference between can and be able to
 

Hi,

'Could' is a past from of 'can' as in: When I was younger, I could run longer distances - where it means: I was physically able to run longer distances. Another meaning of 'could' is 'would be able to' as in: I could buy that book if I had more money.

Alan
_________________
English as a Foreign Language
You can read my EFL story Progressive Forms
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 17284
Location: UK

Difference between can and be able to #9 (permalink) Thu Jan 28, 2010 15:11 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

Dear Alan,

For this question,can I explain like as follows:

"can" is a verb which is used only in present tense and past tense(could) whereas "be able to" can use in all tenses.

I'm hoping for a yes.:)
Kevinqi
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Posts: 21

Difference between can and be able to #10 (permalink) Thu Jan 28, 2010 17:20 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

Hi,

Yes, and just to repeat: 'can' is for present situations and 'could' is for either 'was able to' or 'would be able to'. 'Be able to' is possible in all the tenses that you can make with the verb 'be'.

Alan
_________________
English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Passive Voice
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 17284
Location: UK

Difference between can and be able to #11 (permalink) Wed Oct 06, 2010 13:34 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

Dear Alan, one of my friend in forum explained in this :

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

'After the accident he was no longer able to walk.'
'After the accident, he could no longer walk.'

Both are acceptable, yes. However, you might also hear the 2nd version as:
'After the accident, he couldn't walk.' or 'after the accident, he couldn't walk anymore.'
Is there any difference between two sentences by definition?
With the best regard
Mitra584
Peace&Love
_________________
Peace&Love
Mitra584
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 01 Nov 2009
Posts: 519
Location: Iran

Difference between can and be able to #12 (permalink) Mon Nov 07, 2011 16:02 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

it's still strange for me can you explain it more clearer for me please?
Niaz1
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 13 Sep 2011
Posts: 38

Difference between can and be able to #13 (permalink) Mon Nov 07, 2011 18:45 pm   Difference between can and be able to
 

There is a easy explanation of can it means it must be complete the task by him or her.Can be a so-called auxiliary verb defect, because there is no infinitive form, and no past participle. This means that you have to use other words to replace these missing parts. You can use, the infinitive, so you can use another form, substitute.In my opinion, the difference between playing, when you need to use the past tense and affirmative sentences "can."
Samual
New Member


Joined: 07 Nov 2011
Posts: 5

Display posts from previous:   
What is an entablature? | Change, fly, jog, eat
ESL Forums | English Teacher Explanations (ESL Tests) All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1
Latest topics on ESL EFL Forums
Missing spaceMissing spacenegated byIn fact, a child...unsteady and giddy.with their features in the wrong placessuccess will largely depend onDifference between there / in thereWhy does Alice (in Wonderland) say so?what is "i'd"A slang word for facePhrase: Just a minute, you have just broken my case.Meaning of "gathered a bundle of"

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Get FREE English course via e-mail