Can / Abilities (Lesson Plan)
Beginner ESL students can hear real people speaking natural English using can to talk about abilities. Recommended study plan:
- Watch the video
- Take the quiz
- Listen again and read the script
- Learn the grammar with the notes
Todd: So, Abidemi, let's talk about abilities.
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.
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.
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.
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
- I can play tennis.
- She can speak Italian.
- They can build a computer.
- This dictionary can hold one million words.
- I can't go tonight.
- She cannot speak German.
- I can not get an internet connection.
- My car cannot go very fast.
- 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.
- Are you good at sports?
- Yes, I am pretty good at sports.
- Are you good at computers?
- No, I am not good at computers at all.