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can 1(kăn; kən when unstressed)
can(kæn; unstressed kən)
can1(kæn; unstressed kən)
n., v. canned, can•ning. n.
can could be able to
These words are used to talk about ability, awareness, and possibility. They are also used to say that someone has permission to do something. These uses are dealt with separately in this entry. Can and could are called modals.
Both can and could are followed by an infinitive without to.
The negative form of can is cannot or can't. Cannot is never written 'can not'. The negative form of could is could not or couldn't. To form the negative of be able to, you either put not or another negative word in front of able, or you use the expression be unable to.
Could is also used to talk about ability in the present, but it has a special meaning. If you say that someone could do something, you mean that they have the ability to do it, but they don't in fact do it.
If you say that someone was able to do something, you usually mean that they had the ability to do it and they did it. Could does not have this meaning.
If you want to say that someone had the ability to do something but did not in fact do it, you say that they could have done it.
If you want to say that someone did not do something because they did not have the ability to do it, you say that they could not have done it.
If you want to say that someone had the ability to do something in the past, although they don't now have this ability, you say that they used to be able to do it.
You use a future form of be able to to talk about ability in the future.
Could is often used in reporting structures. For example, if a woman says 'I can speak Arabic', you usually report this as 'She said she could speak Arabic'.
Be able to is sometimes used after modals such as might or should, and after verbs such as want, hope, or expect.
Don't use can or could after any other verbs.
You can use an -ing form of be able to.
There is no -ing form of can or could.
Can and could are used with verbs such as see, hear, and smell to say that someone is or was aware of something through one of their senses.
Could and can are used to talk about possibility in the present or future.
You use could to say that there is a possibility that something is or will be true.
Might and may can be used in a similar way.
Don't use 'could not' to say that there is a possibility that something is not true. Instead you use might not or may not.
If you want to say that it is impossible that something is true, you use cannot or could not.
You use can to say that something is sometimes possible.
You use could have to say that there is a possibility that something was true in the past.
Might have and may have can be used in a similar way.
You also use could have to say that there was a possibility of something being true in the past, although it was not in fact true.
Don't use 'could not have' to say that there is a possibility that something was not true. Instead you use might not have or may not have.
If you want to say that it is impossible that something was true, you use could not have.
Can and could are used to say that someone is allowed to do something.
Cannot and could not are used to say that someone is or was forbidden to do something.
Past participle: canned
|Noun||1.||can - airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.|
beer can - a can that holds beer
cannikin - a small can
coffee can - a can for storing ground coffee
container - any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)
milk can - large can for transporting milk
oilcan - a can with a long nozzle to apply oil to machinery
soda can - a can for holding soft drinks
|2.||can - the quantity contained in a can|
containerful - the quantity that a container will hold
|3.||can - a buoy with a round bottom and conical top|
buoy - bright-colored; a float attached by rope to the seabed to mark channels in a harbor or underwater hazards
|4.||can - the fleshy part of the human body that you sit on; "he deserves a good kick in the butt"; "are you going to sit on your fanny and do nothing?"|
arse, ass, behind, buttocks, derriere, fanny, hind end, hindquarters, keister, nates, posterior, prat, buns, rear end, tooshie, tush, seat, fundament, backside, bottom, rump, stern, tail end, tail, butt, rear, bum
body part - any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
|5.||can - a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination|
bathroom, bath - a room (as in a residence) containing a bathtub or shower and usually a washbasin and toilet
flushless toilet - a toilet that relies on bacteria to break down waste matter (instead of using water)
plumbing fixture - a fixture for the distribution and use of water in a building
john, lav, lavatory, privy, toilet, bathroom, can - a room or building equipped with one or more toilets
toilet bowl - the bowl of a toilet that can be flushed with water
toilet seat - the hinged seat on a toilet
|6.||can - a room or building equipped with one or more toilets|
head - (nautical) a toilet on board a boat or ship
public convenience, public lavatory, public toilet, restroom, toilet facility, wash room, comfort station, convenience - a toilet that is available to the public
room - an area within a building enclosed by walls and floor and ceiling; "the rooms were very small but they had a nice view"
commode, crapper, potty, pot, throne, toilet, stool, can - a plumbing fixture for defecation and urination
washroom - a lavatory (particularly a lavatory in a public place)
|Verb||1.||can - preserve in a can or tin; "tinned foods are not very tasty"|
cookery, cooking, preparation - the act of preparing something (as food) by the application of heat; "cooking can be a great art"; "people are needed who have experience in cookery"; "he left the preparation of meals to his wife"
|2.||can - terminate the employment of; discharge from an office or position; "The boss fired his secretary today"; "The company terminated 25% of its workers"|
give notice, give the axe, give the sack, sack, send away, force out, displace, fire, dismiss, terminate
retire - make (someone) retire; "The director was retired after the scandal"
pension off - let go from employment with an attractive pension; "The director was pensioned off when he got senile"
clean out - force out; "The new boss cleaned out the lazy workers"
furlough, lay off - dismiss, usually for economic reasons; "She was laid off together with hundreds of other workers when the company downsized"
squeeze out - force out; "Some employees were squeezed out by the recent budget cuts"
remove - remove from a position or an office
can1 [kæn] MODAL AUX VB (cannot (can't (neg)) (could (condit, pt)))
he can do it if he tries hard → puede hacerlo si se esfuerza
I can't or cannot go any further → no puedo seguir
I'll tell you all I can → te diré todo lo que pueda
he will do all he can to help you → hará lo posible por ayudarte
you can but ask → con preguntar no se pierde nada
they couldn't help it → ellos no tienen la culpa
"have another helping" - "I really couldn't" → -¿otra ración? -no puedo
he can't swim → no sabe nadar
can you speak Italian? → ¿sabes (hablar) italiano?
can I use your telephone? → ¿puedo usar su teléfono?
can I have your name? → ¿me dice su nombre?
could I have a word with you? → ¿podría hablar contigo un momento?
can't I come too? → ¿puedo ir también?
I couldn't see it anywhere → no lo veía en ninguna parte
I can't understand why → no comprendo por qué
he can't have said that → no puede haber dicho eso
they can't have left already! → ¡no es posible que ya se han ido!
how could you lie to me! → ¿cómo pudiste mentirme?
how can you say that? → ¿cómo te atreves a decir eso?
you can't be serious! → ¿lo dices en serio?
it can't be true! → ¡no puede ser!
what can he want? → ¿qué querrá?
where on earth can she be? → ¿dónde demonios puede estar?
you could try telephoning his office → ¿por qué no le llamas a su despacho?
they could have forgotten → puede (ser) que se hayan olvidado
you could have told me! → ¡podías habérmelo dicho!
it could have been a wolf → podía ser un lobo
I reckon you could have got a job last year → creo que podías obtener un trabajo el año pasado
I'm so happy I could cry → soy tan feliz que me dan ganas de llorar or que me voy a echar a llorar
I could have cried → me daban ganas de llorar
I could scream! → ¡es para volverse loco!
it can get very cold here → aquí puede llegar a hacer mucho frío
as cheap as can be → lo más barato posible
as big as big can be → lo más grande posible
she was as happy as could be → estaba de lo más feliz
we could do with a bigger house → nos convendría una casa más grande ABLE, CAN
a can of beer → una lata de cerveza
a can of worms → un asunto peliagudo
to open a can of worms → abrir la caja de Pandora
(to be left) to carry the can (Brit) → pagar el pato
a can of sweetcorn → une boîte de maïs
a can of beer → une cannette de bière
it's in the can → c'est dans la boîte
can2 [ˈkæn](STRONG) [kən] [cannot, can't] (negative) [could] (conditional and pt) modal aux vb
You can do it if you try → Vous pouvez le faire si vous essayez.
I can't come → Je ne peux pas venir.
I can't hear you
BUT Je ne t'entends pas.
I can't remember
BUT Je ne m'en souviens pas.
I can swim → Je sais nager.
He can't drive → Il ne sait pas conduire.
I can play tennis → Je sais jouer au tennis.
Can you speak French?
BUT Parlez-vous français?.
Can I use your phone? → Est-ce que je peux me servir de votre téléphone?
can I help you? → est-ce que je peux vous aider?