Grammar Talks 2-06 | Beginner | Can / Cannot

My Abilities

Abidemi talks about things she can and cannot do.

Todd: So, Abidemi, let's talk about abilities.

Abidemi: Sure.

Todd: You seem to be very talented.

Abidemi: Well, thank you.

Todd: Can you sing well?

Abidemi: No. I don't consider myself a good singer.

Todd: No, I can't sing well.

Abidemi: No, I can't sing well.

Todd: No? Not at all?

Abidemi: Not really.

Todd: Do you sing often? Do you sing at karaoke? Do you sing at church?

Abidemi: I sing once in a while, but I don't really like it so much.

Todd: Do you ever sing to yourself at home? Like, sing in the shower? Sing while cleaning the house?

Abidemi: Yes, I do. I enjoy music a lot. I listen to a lot of music, and sometimes I sing along.

Todd: Yeah, I don't think I do that. I don't like singing. I can't sing. I have a terrible, terrible voice.

Abidemi: Really?

Todd: Yeah. People say I'm tone deaf, so when I sing my voice is flat. (singing). Very bad.

Abidemi: I see.

Todd: Yeah. I want to sing. I really do, but I have a bad voice.

Abidemi: I'm sure there are plenty of other things that you do very well.

Todd: Yeah, maybe. How about cooking? Can you cook well?

Abidemi: Cooking is another activity that I'm not so good at.

Todd: No.

Abidemi: Maybe I should say that again. I'm not very good at cooking.

Todd: You can't cook?

Abidemi: I have a few dishes that I cook really well, but I think I'm too lazy. I don't learn new ones.

Todd: Yeah, I'm the same. I don't cook, so I can't cook. Right? We say, "Practice makes perfect," but I never cook, so I can't cook.

Abidemi: I see what you mean.

Todd: Yeah.

Abidemi: One thing that I do do well, and really enjoy, is dancing.

Todd: You're a good dancer?

Abidemi: Some people have said that I'm good.

Todd: Nice. What style of dancing do you like?

Abidemi: I like hip-hop, dance music. When I was younger, I took some jazz classes, and I really enjoyed those as well.

Todd: There's jazz dancing?

Abidemi: Yes, there is.

Todd: Oh wow. What about salsa dancing? Or tango dancing?

Abidemi: I like those too, but usually you need a partner for those, so unless my husband wants to dance, but my husband doesn't really like dancing.

Todd: I understand. I'm the same. I can relate.

Can / Be good at - Grammar Notes

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 not, cannot 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.
  • Can you speak Japanese well?
  • I cannot speak it very well. I can speak it just a little.
  • What can you do well?
  • 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 the following questions about the interview.

Free Courses from ELLLO

One Minute English Videos

Free Courses from ELLLO