Can Can't Cannot - English Grammar Lesson (2023)


A grammar lesson about CAN in English. We show you how to use CAN to make both positive and negative sentences, as well as how to make questions using CAN. There are lots of example sentences with Can.
We also mention the difference pronunciation of CAN'T in American English vs. British English.
This entire lesson is about CAN in the simple present tense.

For more details about CAN see our website:
We also have an interactive game for you to play:

There is also a page about the difference between CAN and COULD:

#BasicEnglish #EnglishLesson #CanCannot

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Oh, hello, I can speak English, yes, I can speak, English can is used to show ability or possibility.

I can speak.

English means I.

Have the ability to speak English.

It is possible for me to speak English I can swim, I have the ability to swim, I can swim can is also used for permission you can use.

My pin means you have permission to use.

My pen, you can use my pen.

How do we make sentences in English with? Can it's simple can does not change with the subject it is always can I? Can you can we can they? Can he can she can it? Can my friend, can the teacher can the chickens can everybody can can does not change in positive or affirmative sentences? Simple.

What comes after can the verb, I can speak, he can speak, I can play, he can play, there's no s at the end of the verb.

We can speak, she can speak, they can play it can play.

Why is there no s at the end, because the verb is in the base form of the infinitive? The infinitive is to go to need to speak.

To live for the base form of the infinitive we remove the to part I can to go.

No I can go.

Let's look at this example.

He can speak English.

Is this correct? Yes, it is correct.

Subject he then can and the verb speak he can speak.

English is correct.

The neck sentence.

Is it correct? He can speaks English.


It is not correct.

Why? Because with can there's no s after the verb, the next sentence? Is it correct? He can to speak English? No, it is not correct.

Why? Because after can, we don't have the infinitive with to? We have the base form of the infinitive.

This no - only the verb part you can see we use can with all subjects I can you can he can she can it? Can we can you? Can they can? Let's see some examples, I can speak, English, hello, you can ride a bike, he can drive a car, she can play the guitar, it can swim, a fish can swim.

We can play football, you can see the sport football in British.

English has a round ball in American English.

This sport is called soccer.

The sport football in American English has an oval ball, the same name football, but different sports.

Depending on the country.

You can see the stars at night, they can dance or they can dance so for positive or affirmative sentences.

In English we use the subject plus can plus the verb.

How can we make negative sentences? It is easy we use canned or conned.

Instead of can now.

You may have noticed that I pronounced that word in two different ways: can't and can't.

What's the difference, can't is the pronunciation in American English and calmed.

Is the pronunciation in British English can't can't can't can't I can't speak.

I can't speak in the rest of this.

Video I will sometimes use American, English and sometimes use British.

English can't or can't is a contraction of, cannot I can't speak.

Russian I cannot speak Russian.

He can't play tennis.

He cannot play tennis when we speak in English canned or canned more common, then cannot the uses of can't.

It is to say you do not have the ability to do something.

I can swim.

I, do not have the ability to swim or it is not possible for me to swim.

Can't is also used.

When someone does not have permission.

You can't use my pen.

This means you do not have permission to use my pen more examples.

I can speak, English I can't speak Japanese, he can speak Arabic, he can't speak German, she can drive a car, she can't drive a bus, a fish can swim, a fish can't climb trees, I can speak, English, I can't speak French, you can ride a bike.

You can't ride a horse, he can drive a car, he can't drive a truck.

She can play the guitar.

She can't play the piano, it can swim, it can't fly.

We can play football, we can't play tennis, you can see the stars, you can't see germs, they can dance.

They can't sing now for questions with.

Can how can we make a question using? Can you can speak Spanish? This is an affirmative sentence to make it a question.

We change the order of the subject and can you can changes too? Can you can you speak Spanish and if you want to give a short answer or response, can you speak Spanish? Yes, I can or no I can't another example.

She can ride a bike.

How can we change this to make it a question? Yes, we change the order of the subject she and can.

Can she ride a bike and the short answer would be yes, she can or no she can't the uses of can in questions can and a question can mean: do you have the ability or is it possible? Can you speak Italian? Do you have the ability? Is it possible for you to speak? Italian can is also used in questions to make an offer can I help you I am offering to help.

You can I help you can is also used in questions.

To ask for permission.

Can we go home now? It means.

Do we have permission to go home now? Can we go home now can is also used in questions to give instructions or make requests? Can you open the window? Please could is more polite or courteous? Could you open the window please, or can you open the window? Please? Can you swim? This is a question that normally has two possible answers.

Yes, I can or no I can't, but what, if I want more information, we can use a question word such as where, when why what etc these question words go before.

Can where can you swim in a swimming pool? When can you swim? I can swim after work more examples.

What can we do tonight? We can watch a movie when can I see you again, you can see me tomorrow.

If you are lucky, where can you buy a book at a bookstore up? You.


What is the hardest English grammar to learn? ›

Here are a few of the more difficult grammar rules you can teach your students to help them master the purist's version of the English language.
  • Who v whom. ...
  • Sentences ending with a preposition. ...
  • Starting a sentence with a conjunction. ...
  • Different to v different from. ...
  • One word sentences. ...
  • Split infinitives. ...
  • Who v that.
Sep 14, 2017

What's the difference between can't and Cannot? ›

Here is a quick summary: Can't is a contraction of cannot, and it's best suited for informal writing. In formal writing and where contractions are frowned upon, use cannot. It is possible to write can not, but you generally find it only as part of some other construction, such as “not only . . . but also.”

Why is English grammar so tough? ›

English grammar is hard because it is a language that developed from numerous other languages. The many rules are complex, and almost all of them have exceptions. Some have no particular logic and must just be learned. A person's native language grammar will also inhibit learning English grammar.

Can you start a question with can? ›

Can, like could and would, is used to ask a polite question, but can is only used to ask permission to do or say something ("Can I borrow your car?" "Can I get you something to drink?").

What is the most difficult chapter in English grammar? ›

Prepositions are the most confusing and difficult part of grammar because almost every definition of a preposition has exceptions and different meanings.

What is can't called in grammar? ›

What are contractions? A contraction is a word made by shortening and combining two words. Words like can't (can + not), don't (do + not), and I've (I + have) are all contractions. People use contractions in both speaking and writing.

Is it grammatically correct to say Cannot? ›

Both cannot and can not are perfectly fine, but cannot is far more common and is therefore recommended, especially in any kind of formal writing. Can't has the same meaning, but as with contractions in general, it is somewhat informal.

What are 5 examples of cant? ›

[M] [T] I can't tell you how many times I've been there. [M] [T] I can't tell you why she was absent from school. [M] [T] I can't understand what you're trying to get at. [M] [T] She wants to buy a car, but she can't afford to.

What is the most difficult part of English class? ›

The most difficult part of learning English is pronunciation . A lot of learners find it difficult to articulate sounds . Also, it's hard for learners to find native speakers and communicate with them which can be frustrating for some.

What is the hardest language in the world? ›

Mandarin is unanimously considered the most difficult language to master and is spoken by over a billion people in the world.

How can I make grammar easier? ›

Here are six tips for better grammar learning.
  1. Do some grammar exercises. Some people are happy to do grammar exercises. ...
  2. Look it up! ...
  3. Practise using the grammar you know. ...
  4. 'Notice' correct grammar. ...
  5. Learn the grammar of words. ...
  6. Read a lot.

What are 5 examples of words used to start an open question? ›

Open-ended questions begin with the following words: why, how, what, describe, tell me about..., or what do you think about...

How do you avoid starting a sentence with I? ›

The Quick Fix
  1. Start with a prepositional phrase. A propositional phrase lets us know where the subject of the sentence is in time or space, or what the relationship is between two entities. ...
  2. Swap the clauses. ...
  3. Cut out unnecessary actions. ...
  4. Avoid filter phrases (I thought, I saw, I heard).
Feb 3, 2020

Is it may I ask or can I ask? ›

The word 'May I' is used to ask for permission. The word 'Can I' is used to refer to possible abilities or to seek permission. It is used as a verb. It is used as a verb.

What is the closest language to English? ›

Except for Frisian, Dutch is linguistically the closest language to English, with both languages being part of the West Germanic linguistic family. This means many Dutch words are cognates with English (meaning they share the same linguistic roots), giving them similar spelling and pronunciation.

What is the quickest language to learn? ›

The easiest languages for English speakers to learn are: Danish, Dutch, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish, and French. The US State Department lists these languages as Category I languages. This means they are similar to English culturally and/or linguistically.

Is it hard to learn English Grammar? ›

English is known for having some grammatical quirks and irregularities that make it a difficult language to perfect. Some of the most challenging English grammatical concepts to learn are auxiliary verbs, subject-verb agreement, verb patterns, tenses, phrasal verbs, and prepositions.

What is the most important topic in English grammar? ›

Punctuation is the basic factor to be considered when learning English Grammar. A sentence must always start with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, a question mark or an exclamation mark as per the sense of the sentence. 2. In every sentence, a subject & verb are mandatory while an object can be optional.

What is the punctuation in can t? ›

The contraction “can't” is fine anywhere you're comfortable using contractions, which are a little more informal than writing out all the words, and always remember to put the apostrophe in “can't” when you are writing the contraction.

What are the three conditions in English grammar? ›

First, Second, and Third Conditional
1. First conditional:If I have enough money, I will go to Japan.
2. Second conditional:If I had enough money, I would go to Japan.
3. Third conditional:If I had had enough money, I would have gone to Japan.

Can t is a negative word? ›

Can't, don't, and won't are all common negatives (as well as isn't, doesn't, and not). Words like never and nobody are negatives too—they just express disagreement in a different way.

What is can and can't in grammar? ›

We can use can and can't to talk about abilities in the present. I can swim. They can speak English. He can't ride a bike.

What is a simple sentence for Cannot? ›

I cannot play the piano. We can't go to the cinema tonight. She cannot speak French very well. He can't drive a car.

What can I say instead of Cannot? ›

What is another word for cannot?
wouldn'twould not
might notcould not
may notmay perhaps not
may possibly notmay well not
would perhaps notwould possible not

What type of verb is cant? ›

How is the negative form of 'can' written? First of all, you have to consider that the verb can together with its negative forms can't and cannot is a modal verb (other modal verbs are 'will, would, shall, must', etc.).

What type of speech is cant? ›

"Can't" is a contraction of the modal verb "can" and "not". It negates the possibility for something to occur. Verbs are used to indicate actions taking place, with modal verbs acting as auxiliaries for specific functions.

Is cant a helping verb? ›

The negative forms of these words (can't, don't, won't, etc.) are also helping verbs. Note: The helping verbs to be, to have, and would are used to indicate tense.

Which English skill is the most difficult? ›

Writing: It is the most difficult of the four language skills. It requires a command over vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. When children graduate to writing short paragraphs, it also involves establishing links among different sentences. All these help in creating meaning.

What is the hardest language class? ›

Across multiple sources, Mandarin Chinese is the number one language listed as the most challenging to learn.

What is the lowest English class? ›

English Course Levels
LevelLevel name
B2Upper Intermediate
2 more rows

What is the 2 hardest language to learn? ›

The Hardest Languages To Learn For English Speakers
  1. Mandarin Chinese. Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. Polish. ...
  4. Russian. ...
  5. Turkish. ...
  6. Danish.
Feb 25, 2021

What is the hardest language in America? ›

Finally, the “Big Four.” According to the US Department of State, the four most difficult languages to learn are Arabic, Japanese, Chinese and Korean. To become conversational in one of these languages, you'll probably need 1.69 years, spending 2,200 hours in class!

What is the top 3 hardest language to learn? ›

Let's explore the 10 hardest languages for English speakers to learn, and the challenges they deliver:
  1. Mandarin. Mandarin is spoken by 70% of the Chinese population, and is the most spoken language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. Japanese. ...
  4. Hungarian. ...
  5. Korean. ...
  6. Finnish. ...
  7. Basque. ...
  8. Navajo.
Sep 16, 2022

What is the fastest way to learn grammar? ›

5 Tips to Improve Your Grammar
  1. Read: Reading is one of the secret weapons to improve your grammar skills. ...
  2. Use a grammar manual: It is a very useful idea to have a grammar manual nearby that you can consult when writing. ...
  3. Write more and quiz yourself: ...
  4. Re-reading aloud: ...
  5. 5 Consult others and learn from feedback:
Dec 4, 2020

How to master in English grammar? ›

Practice Makes Perfect
  1. Read a short clear easily understandable explanation of a grammar rule.
  2. Study several practical usage examples (sentences) illustrating that particular grammar rule. ...
  3. Do several exercises for that rule with communicative content with sentences that most likely can be used in real life situations.
Apr 25, 2019

What are the 3 best words to start an open-ended question? ›

Open-ended questions start with “Why?” “How?” and “What?” They encourage a full answer, rather than the simple “yes” or “no” response that is usually given to a closed-ended question.

What words always start a question? ›

The main question words are:
  • What (for a thing, when there are many things)
  • Which (for a thing, when there aren't many things)
  • Who (for a person)
  • Where (for a place)
  • Why (for a reason)
  • When (for a time)
  • How (for a method)
  • Whose (to ask about possession)

What are the first question words? ›

All about the five W's and the H! In this language arts worksheet, your child learns the best words to start questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how.

What is a good sentence starter? ›

Sentence starters for making a point

So, when you want to introduce a new idea, you might use a sentence starter like: "What if," "What happened is…" or "Here's the thing:". Subsequently, to elaborate on what you've already said, good starters to use include "Anyway," "So," or "In addition,".

What words are good to start a sentence? ›

Good sentence starters for emphasis
  • Above all . . .
  • As usual . . .
  • Certainly . . .
  • Indeed . . .
  • Undoubtedly . . .
  • Of course . . .
  • Obviously . . .
  • Namely . . .
Jun 2, 2022

What words should you never start a sentence with? ›

Never begin a sentence—or a clause—with also. Teach the elimination of but, so, and, because, at the beginning of a sentence. A sentence should not commence with the conjunctions and, for, or however....

Which is more polite may I or shall I? ›

The former is less polite than the latter. "Shall" indicates a strong assertion while "may" asks for permission and indicates possibility.

Which is more polite may I or can I? ›

May is the more formal word, and if you are at all concerned about being tut-tutted, a safe choice. Can is now the verb of choice for ability, and both can and may are still used in the "possibility" sense. You may use can if you wish, and you can use may if it makes you feel better.

What is the most confusing grammar? ›

10 Most Confusing Grammar Rules
  • Who vs. Whom. ...
  • Don't End Sentences With Prepositions. This rule is a little more gray and depends on the context. ...
  • E.G. vs. I.E. ...
  • Is "Neither" Singular or Plural? ...
  • Affect vs. ...
  • Take vs. ...
  • Is None Singular or Plural? ...
  • Which vs.
May 20, 2019

Which language grammar is hard? ›

Finnish. Finnish is the official language of European countries like Finland and Sweden and is known as one of the hardest languages to speak and learn because of its complex case and vowel systems, hard grammar rules and the fact that the language is very different from its Latin and Germanic counterparts.

What is the hardest English language test? ›

The TOEFL Exam

Like the IELTS, the Test of English as a Foreign Language is graded on a sliding scale. It's also about an hour longer than the IELTS, at 4 hours. The TOEFL tests test-takers ability to understand English spoken with an American accent.

Which English skill is the easiest? ›

Listening is the easiest skill to practice

All four language skills are incredibly important and present their unique challenges. When I say that listening is easiest, I do not mean that it requires less time or commitment than reading, writing, or speaking.

Who has the lowest English proficiency in the world? ›

The highest-ranked country is Lithuania (#19), followed by Estonia (#20) and Latvia (#21)3. The lowest-ranked country is Turkmenistan (#109), followed by Uzbekistan (#108) and Tajikistan (#107)3. The average score for CIS countries is 489 (moderate proficiency)3.

Is English the world's hardest language? ›

Hardest Languages to Learn: FAQs

Spoken by over a billion people, Mandarin Chinese is unanimously considered to be the most difficult language in the world to master, especially for those whose native languages use the Latin writing system, like English, Spanish, French, German, and all other European languages.

Which language has the strongest grammar? ›

Because Hungarian grammar rules are the most difficult to learn, this language has 26 different cases. The suffixes dictate the tense and possession and not the word order.

What is the most important grammar in English? ›

The most important things in English grammar include understanding the parts of speech, sentence structure, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, and punctuation. These are essential for effective communication in written and spoken English.

What is the rule of most of grammar? ›

When we are talking about the majority of something in general, we use most + noun. When we are talking about the majority of a specific set of something, we use most of the + noun. Most desserts are sweet. The food at the party was delicious.

What is the 2nd hardest language to learn? ›

Arabic. Next on the list of the hardest languages to learn for English speakers is Arabic, which is also in the top five most spoken world languages.

What is the top 5 hardest language to learn? ›

Let's explore the 10 hardest languages for English speakers to learn, and the challenges they deliver:
  1. Mandarin. Mandarin is spoken by 70% of the Chinese population, and is the most spoken language in the world. ...
  2. Arabic. ...
  3. Japanese. ...
  4. Hungarian. ...
  5. Korean. ...
  6. Finnish. ...
  7. Basque. ...
  8. Navajo.
Sep 16, 2022

What is the hardest language to learn if you are not English? ›

– Mandarin Chinese is considered the most difficult language to learn for non-English speakers. – The language has over 50,000 characters and a complex writing system. – Mandarin Chinese has four tones, which can change the meaning of a word completely.

Why is English the hardest language to speak? ›

Most English language learners will find it challenging to learn English verb tenses, phrasal verbs, articles, spelling, pronunciation, and idioms. This is because these are features of English that are very different from most other languages in the world, or which simply require a lot of memorization.

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