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1 : Introductory Unit


can, can’t, could, couldn’t are used to express ability:

Can you drive?

Help! I can’t swim.

Could you understand what he is saying?

She couldn’t dance very well.

# can have a present and a future meaning.

I can finish it tomorrow.

# could have a past meaning

I could swim when I was five.

  • We can also use  be able to for ability, and it’s easier to do this in the past and future :
    I can’t do it now. I will be able to do it later.
    They were able to complete the job last week.
  • We use be able to in the present perfect tense :
    I have been able to type three of the letters, but I haven’t been able to type the other one.
  • We are more likely to use be able to when something was difficult :
    At first we couldn’t do it because there was a problem, but finally we were able to do it.

We use this/these to refer to the people and things, situations and experiences that are close to the speaker or very close in time. We use that/those to refer to people and things, situations and experiences that are more distant, either in time or physically.

The word this and that are demonstrative pronoun which is used for indicating something. We use the word this to point out a person or object which is close to you. On the other hand, that is used to point a person or an object which is farther from you.


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