Can / Can't

CAN / CAN'T shows ability, inability, request, permission, possibility, and inappropriateness.

Also see:

Can Can't Exercises
Can Can't Exercises 2
Can vs Could Exercises
Modal Verbs


a. I can speak English.
b. You can leave early today.
c. Can I come in, please?


Positive: Subject + CAN + Verb1

Negative: Subject + CAN'T + Verb1
Hecanrunvery vestYoucan'trunvery fast
Hecansitin the gardenHecan'tsitin the garden
Shecancomewith usShecan'tcomewith us
Itcanjumpto the other sideItcan'tjumpto the other side
Wecanmakedelicious cakesWecan'tmakedelicious cakes
Youcanpassthe examYoucan'tpassthe exam
Theycan drawpicturesTheycan'tdrawpictures

NOTE: Negative form of CAN is either “cannot” or “can not” and its negative contraction is “Can’t”. In British English, it is pronounced /ka:nt/ but in American English, it is /kent/.

NOTE: Negative “YES/NO QUESTIONS” are formed in two ways:
1. Can you not come today?Can he read fast?
2. Can’t you come today?Can’t he read fast?

Can Yes/No Questions and Answers Chart

Can WH Information Questions and Answers Chart


We use “CAN” to express

1. Ability

Sarven can ride a bike.
He can speak Japanese.
I can play table tennis.
We can cook.
They can eat with chop sticks.
Paul and Ingrid can ski.

2. Inability

He can’t ride a horse.
I can’t type very fast.
We can’t lift 100 kilos.
Jan can not run fast.
Alicia cannot drive a car.

3. Request

Can you help me?
Can you tell me the way to the museum?
Can you come here a minute please?

4. Permissions

Can I use your cell phone?
Can I take a day off?
Can I smoke here?
Can I go out?

Typical responses: Certainly. Yes, certainly. Of course. Of course you can. Sure (informal) … etc

5. Possibility

The florist can deliver the bouquet early.
My friend can visit me this week

Note: can is not normal used to describe future possibility in the positive form.

INCORRECT: It can rain tomorrow.

6. Inappropriateness

You can’t wear that dress! It is indecent.
You can’t smoke in this building. It is illegal.
You can’t ask for information here. This is not information desk.

What’s New on GrammarBank:

  1. How Much vs How Many Exercise 2 - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 05:06 AM

    Printable and online grammar exercises-- How Much vs How Many worksheets with answers

  2. Unless / IF Not - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 04:29 AM

    Unless means except if. We use unless to make an exception to something we say. See details with examples and exercises.

  3. Second Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 16, 18 07:50 AM

    Second conditional (type two) grammar exercise with answers -- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  4. First Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 09:57 AM

    If conditional type 1 (first conditional) grammar exercise with answers-- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  5. In Case - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:36 AM

    Uses of In Case, detailed rules explanations with examples and exercises for English learners and teachers

  6. Wish Clauses - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:32 AM

    Uses of Wish Clauses, grammar rules with examples, exercises, and detailed explanations.

  7. IF clauses / IF Conditionals - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:26 AM

    IF clauses / First, Second and Third Conditionals (Type 1, type 2, type 3) categories explained with details, examples and exercises

  8. Third Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:22 AM

    Third conditional if is used for unreal situations in the past. Type three conditional grammar, with examples and exercises

  9. Second Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:21 AM

    Second conditional IF also referred as Type 2 conditional is used for...See second conditional rules, examples and exercises

  10. First Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:19 AM

    First conditional if (Type one conditional) is when the condition is in present or future... see details with examples and exercises