- 1used to say that it is possible for someone or something to do something, or for something to happen I can run fast. Can you call back tomorrow? He couldn't answer the question. The stadium can be emptied in four minutes. I can't promise anything, but I'll do what I can. Please let us know if you cannot attend the meeting.
- 2 used to say that someone knows how to do something She can speak Spanish. Can he cook? She could read before she started kindergarten.
- 3 used with the verbs “feel”, “hear”, “see”, “smell”, “taste” She could feel the cool air on her face. I can hear music.
- 4 used to show that someone is allowed to do something You can take the car if you want. We can't wear jeans at work.
- 5(informal) used to ask permission to do something Can I read your newspaper? Can I take you home?
- 6(informal) used to ask someone to help you Can you help me with this box? Can you feed the cat, please?
- 7used in the negative for saying that you are sure something is not true That can't be Mary—she's in New York. He can't have slept through all that noise.
- 8 used to express doubt or surprise What can they be doing? Can he be serious? Where could she have put it?
- 9 used to say what someone or something is often like He can be very tactless sometimes. It can be really cold here in the winter.
- 10 used to make suggestions We can eat in a restaurant if you like. I can take the car if necessary.
- 11 (informal) used to say that someone must do something, usually when you are angry You can be quiet or get out! Grammarmodal verbsThe modal verbs are can, could, may, might, must, ought to, shall, should, will, and would. Dare, need, have to, and used to also share some of the features of modal verbs.Modal verbs have only one form. They have no past or present participles and do not add -s to the 3rd person singular form:He can speak three languages. She will try and visit tomorrow.Modal verbs are followed by the infinitive of another verb without to. The exceptions are ought to and used to:You must find a job. You ought to stop smoking. I used to smoke, but I quit two years ago.Questions are formed without do/does in the present or did in the past:Can I invite Mary? Should I have invited Mary?Negative sentences are formed with not or the short form -n’t and do not use do/does or did:You shouldn't invite Mary. The error will not have affected our results.You will find more help with how to use modal verbs at the dictionary entries for each verb. Idioms
modal verbjump to other results
as happy, etc. as possible Shopping online is as simple as can be.
as happy, simple, sweet, etc. as can bejump to other results
used to say that you are not able or willing to do something Sorry, no can do. I just don't have the time.
no can do (informal)jump to other results