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can, could


我們用 can/could 形容能力,用 can’t/couldn’t 形容能力的不足。

She could drive the motorcycle smoothly. 她能平穩地駕駛機車。
Children can’t concentrate for long periods of time. 孩子們不能長時間集中注意力。
He can speak English. 他會說英語。


我們用 can 來表示可能性。

Anyone can win this game. 任何人都可以贏得這場比賽。
She can’t attend the party. 她不能參加聚會。


我們用 can/could 來表示某件事已被允許了,用can’t/couldn’t表示某件事不被允許。

You can’t sleep in my room, but you can sleep in the other room if you want. 你不能睡在我的房間裏,但如果你願意,你可以睡在另一個房間。

我們還可以使用 can 請求許可

Can I come in? 我可以進來嗎?


can/could 可以用於要求,例如當我們要求某人做某件事時。

Can you help me? 你能幫助我嗎?
Could you speak more slowly, please? 請你說慢點好嗎?


感覺類的動詞(see, smell, hear, feel, taste 等)是靜態動詞不能用進行式,所以我們用 can。

Can you hear that? 你能聽到嗎?( 不能說 Are you hearing that?)
can smell gas! 我能聞到煤氣味!(不能說 I am smelling gas!)

be able to

be able to 通常和 can 很相似,我們可以用來代替 can 來表示能力;但是 be able to 比較正式且較不常見。

We are able to do the project before the deadline. 我們能够在最後期限之前完成這個項目。

但 can 只有現在或過去式 can–could,在其它的形式中(不定詞、動名詞、現在完成式……等)應該用be able to。

I haven’t been able to attend the meeting. 我沒能參加會議。 (現在完成式)
I’d like to be able to see her every day. 我希望每天都能見到她。 (不定詞,不能說 to can)
I don’t like cute things. I like being able to choose what I want. 我不喜歡可愛的東西。 我喜歡能够選擇我想要的。 (-ing形式)
Will they be able to talk to the teacher after class? 下課後他們能和老師交談嗎? (不定詞)

can/could VS be able to

我們可用 can 和 be able to來表示目前一般情況下的能力。

She can read different languages.
She’s able to read different languages.

我們可以用 could 和 be able to 來表示過去在一般情況下的能力。

My friend could drive when he was 12 years old.
My friend was able to drive when he was 12 years old.

但當我們想表達某人在特殊情況下做了某事,必須要用 was/were able to,或 managed to+原形動詞。

There was a fire in the office but all the workers were able to/managed to escape. 辦公室裏發生了火灾,但所有的工人都設法逃脫了。(不能說 could escape)
He lost his maps but after driving around for a long time, he was able to/managed to find the place. 他把地圖弄丟了,但開了很長時間後,他終於找到了那個地方。(不能說 could find)

在否定句中,could 和 be able to 都可以用來表示在某個特定情況下無法達成某事。

The table was very messy, and she couldn’t find her keys. (Or She wasn’t able to find the keys.) 桌子很亂,她找不到鑰匙。

can,could, be able to – 練習題

1. He hates perform on the stage.

2. When she was 15 years old, she play different sports.

3. After 6 hours climbing, they reach the top of the mountain.

4. When I was 5 years old, I used to run in the oval by myself.

5. Yesterday I lost my keys and I looked for them everywhere, but I find them.

6. Justin wasn't at home, but I contact him at his office.

7. If she wants to let us know about her problem, she should talk about it now.

8. Can you drive my car for me? I do it anymore. I'm drunk.

9. They've never attend a school party because their parents are strict.

10. After living alone in the city, I cook very well now.




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