You are watching: I am unable to can
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So, let"s start by spring at her examples. You"ve asked about can"t and also unable to. Well, we usage can"t in the existing tense when we say that we don"t have the capability to carry out something - for example, ns can"t swim. Us stayinfiji.comuld likewise say ns am unable to swim, and also the meaning would it is in pretty much the same. However which one carry out we choose? Well, for informal English, and also for spoken English in particular, human being tend to use deserve to or can"t. Able to seems a bit more formal and not really proper for day-to-day situations.
Now the past of deserve to is stayinfiji.comuld, and the past of be able to is had the ability to or to be able to. For example, we deserve to say
I stayinfiji.comuld swimming (or i stayinfiji.comuldn"t swim ) once I to be 7 years old
or we deserve to say
I was able to swim (or ns was can not to swim ) when I was 7 year old
Again, in talked English, we"d probably use stayinfiji.comuld or stayinfiji.comuldn"t come talk about past capability or lack of ability.
Now the examples I"ve just offered are stayinfiji.comncerned with general ability. The sentence
I stayinfiji.comuld swim as soon as I was 5 year old
refers to a general ability, not an capability in a particular past incident. It"s important to know this difference since when we speak about capacity in certain past incidents, the way we usage stayinfiji.comuld and was able come changes. I"ll tell friend a story as an example. As soon as I to be 10 years old, mine mother and father took me ~ above a sailing holiday, and also on the last day, once the sea was an extremely rough, I fell out of the boat! It was OK though, I was able to swim back to the boat.
I had the ability to swim back to the boat.
It"s relenten an capability in a specific past event, and also we would certainly NOT typically say
I stayinfiji.comuld swim back to the boat.
But what about the an unfavorable form? Well, ~ above the very same trip, mine younger sister fell into the water too. However she wasn"t a solid swimmer, and my father had actually to jump into the sea and rescue her, because she stayinfiji.comuldn"t swim earlier to the boat. So come talk about lack of capability in a certain past event, stayinfiji.comuldn"t is OK. Us stayinfiji.comuld additionally sayShe wasn"t able come swim earlier to the boat
She was unable to swim ago to the boat.
OK? now I"m going to attend to future, existing perfect and also past perfect tenses, by telling you that deserve to is not generally used come describe capability in this tenses. For these tenses, you need to use have the ability to or be can not to. Here are part examples and also don"t forget that once you use unable to, it provides a more formal tone than no able to. Here"s an instance in the future:
You"ll have the ability to speak really good English by the end of the year.
And now one in existing perfect:
We"ve to be unable come stayinfiji.commplete the project within the specified budget.
The next one is present perfect, inquiry form:
How long has your little boy been able come read?
And let"s listen to a past perfect – this one"s negative:
He was given a detention due to the fact that he hadn"t been able to finish his homework.
Now, although we"ve simply said that we don"t usually use can or can"t come talk around future ability, that is possible to use have the right to to suggest a possible future action, prefer this:
I deserve to sign up with you in ~ the meeting, however I can"t stay an extremely long.
Now to summarise all this, if you go to the Ask about English website, you"ll be able to see a table that tenses v able to and can. Well Annapurna , ns hope I"ve been able come help, and also I additionally hope that you"ll be able to use these forms with an ext stayinfiji.comnfidence in future!