Archive for July 27, 2010

grammatical word: can

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Today, I’d like to write about another word with a second meaning that most people don’t realize: “can”. The main meaning of the word “can” is to talk about skills that we have. For example:

I can play the piano very well.

My friend can cook French food.

However, the word “can” also has the meaning of “sometimes”. For example:

It can get really cold in my hometown in the winter.

My sister can be really blunt, but she’s not blunt all the time.

Learning how to cook well can be really difficult for some people.

When we talking about actions, we use the word “sometimes”, but we use the word “can” when describing a person or a situation with adjectives. However, we can also use the word “sometimes” in these situations. For example:

It is sometimes really cold in my hometown in the winter.

My sister is sometimes very blunt, but she’s not blunt all the time.

Learning how to cook well is sometimes very difficult for some people.

So, it’s possible to use “sometimes” in these sentences, but it’s more natural to use the word “can” because the sentences are describing a situation using adjectives.

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