Beginner English Grammar (A1) Lesson 19 of 25

Can - Abilities

Read and listen to four conversations using "can" for abilities.

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Conversation 1

Woman: What sports can you play?
Man: I can play baseball a bit and I can play tennis pretty well.
Woman: Can you play football?
Man: No, I'm terrible at football. What about you?
Woman: Yeah. I can play football. I like it a lot but I'm not great.
Man: I bet you are pretty good.
Woman: No, really. I'm not that good.

Conversation 2

Man: What languages can you speak?
Woman: I can speak Japanese and French.
Man: Wow! Can you write in Japanese?
Woman: I can write a little bit, but not that much.
Man: Yeah. I hear Kanji is really difficult.
Woman: Yeah. It's really difficult. What about you? What languages can you speak?
Man: I can speak some Spanish, but not great. I can also speak Thai.
Woman: Wow! Can you write in Thai?
Man: No, but I can read it. Writing is really difficult.
Woman: Still, that's pretty cool!

Conversation 3

Man: So, are you a good cook?
Woman: Not really. But I can cook basic stuff.
Man: Yeah? What can you cook?
Woman: I can make pasta dishes and some French cuisine. What about you?
Man: I can't cook anything. I can only make an omelet.
Woman: That's not too bad. Can you make pancakes?
Man: No, I can't even make that.

Conversation 4

Man: What are you doing tonight?
Woman: I am going to karaoke with friends. Do you want to come?
Man: No, thanks. I can't sing at all.
Woman: Oh, you should come. Singing is fun!
Man: Maybe for you. I hear you can sing really well.
Woman: I can sing a little bit, but I am not great.
Man: That's not what I heard.

Can / Be good at

Point 1: We use can to show abilities.
  1. I can play tennis.
  2. She can speak Italian.
  3. They can build a computer.
  4. This dictionary can hold one million words.
Point 2: The negative form of can has three spellings: can notcannot, and can't.
  1. I can't go tonight.
  2. She cannot speak German.
  3. I can not get an internet connection.
  4. My car cannot go very fast.
Point 3: The adverb well is used to show a high ability at doing something.
  1. Can you speak Japanese well?
  2. I cannot speak it very well. I can speak it just a little.
  3. What can you do well?
  4. I can cook fairly well.
Point 4: The phrase be good at means you can do something well.
  1. Are you good at sports?
  2. Yes, I am pretty good at sports.
  3. Are you good at computers?
  4. No, I am not good at computers at all.
Answer these questions about the interview.

Gap Fill: Complete the conversation with the correct word!


More Free Grammar Conversations for Beginner Students (A1)

A1 Grammar
A1-16 Prepositions
The museum is across the hotel in the park.

A1 Grammar
A1-17 Possessives
Yours is over there. It is next to mine.

A1 Grammar
A1-18 Languages and Nationalities
I speak English and I study Spanish.

A1 Grammar
A1-19 Can - Abilities
I can run pretty fast, but I cannot jump that high.

A1 Grammar
A1-20 Adverbs of Frequency
I usually stay home, but sometimes I go out.

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