1. Could I pick some roses as well? Or a mixed bunch of things? 2. It was a pity that she was ill and could not go. 3. Edmund, darling, could she have the bedside lamp out of your study, just for this evening? 4. In the old days, people could feed nearly all the animals. 5. If she had had money she could perhaps have paid for everything; as things were, she could do nothing of the kind. 6. He could think of nothing to say in replay and so he didn’t. 7. I’ve broken it (the thermometer). 8. Her literary agent friend rang up and asked if she could come down for dinner. 9. I just seem to know nobody who I could ring and say I just feel awful and I haven’t a penny. 10. She went to the bed, and bent down so that Anne could kiss her. 11. The driver’s face was of a complexion on to which you could have dropped a fried egg without anyone noticing. 12. The windows were open, and the scent of jasmine and roses could be smelled. 13. Janet tied to imagine what an unserious talk could have been like. 14. If only they could talk, everything would seem easier and better. 15. She couldn’t come to Paris, she said; she was nursing Mrs Cornhill, there was nobody else in the house, and she couldn’t leave. 16. It was a big barn and we could hide in the hay if we heard anyone. 17. If you’re planning to open a shop or build a ship you couldn’t have come to a better man. 18. She was so tired, she couldn’t drag herself upstairs to dress. 19. After all if she couldn’t do what she liked who could? 20. He could hardly have been so cool about it, so open, if there were anything in it.
1. I can’t shift the bolts on the wheel, at all. I’ll have to get help. 2. I speak three languages and I can’t spell in any of them. 3. You could join her much later if she wants you to go on the yacht. 4. ‘Shall I fill some pots now?’ – ‘You can do the whole thing if you like.’ 5. Could you stop the car, please, for a moment? 6. oh, really. She can’t put up with that! 7. I wish he could have a pony of his own. 8. All the shelves were wedged tight with books, but there still existed large numbers of books which could find no place in the shelves. 9. How could she have been so cold, so unloving to this adorable creature? How could she have been so blind? 10. ‘Oh, it’s you, Sue.’ – ‘Yes. Can I come in?’ 11. What is not done today, could be done tomorrow. 12. There was nothing he could do about it at the moment. 13. I could never have believed till I came here that natural courtesy could be such a wonderful – such a positive thing. 14. ‘Why didn’t you stop all that?’ – ‘How could I?’ – ‘You could have found some way.’ – ‘Could I, I wonder?’ 15. Where’ s Miss Laura? She came out right after me. Where can she be?
Fill in the blanks with can/can’t or be able to in the proper form
1. He can speak English rather fluently, but that time he was not able to say a word. 2. He has never been able to speak in public. 3. I used to be able to speak German very well. 4. You can marry her, but you can’t make her love you. 5. I can’t do it on Friday, but I will be able to do it next week. 6. can you give me a lift to the station, please? 7. I used be able to eat a kilo of sweets for supper. 8. I have never been able to ride a bicycle. 9. You couldn’t see him at the meeting. He was ill. 10. I’d like to be able to ski very well. 11. Luckily I could find a taxi. 12. I could (not) drive when I was fifteen. 13. I can hear somebody running. 14. He did not want to go there, but we were able to persuade him. 15. She sighed. I could feel her hands shaking.
Open the brackets with could (expressing a possibility) or could have (expressing a possibility that did not happen) and make all necessary changes
1. A car is pulling up. It could be Lucy. 2. He could have got a credit, but he did not prepare all the documents in time. 3. Why didn’t you ask me? I could have done it for you. 4. He could be there tomorrow. 5. They could have been there yesterday. 6. Why are you so depressed? He could have told a lie. 7. You should have told us about your delay. We could have cancelled our meeting. 8. He could do it if he tries. 9. Somebody has called on you today. – It could have been a friend of mine. 10. I think he could have committed a crime, but he’s got an alibi. 11. The train arrives at 11.30. She could come at noon. 12. Yesterday I saw him driving at a very high speed. He could have crashed.
Express your surprise and disbelief using can/could
A in interrogative sentence
1. Can he have been at the party yesterday? 2. Could they be in Germany? 3. Can he have broken his leg? 4. Could they have sent to prison? 5. Can she have got married? 6. Could he study at Cambridge University? 7. Can she have been practicing the violin for five years? 8. Could he have made an interesting report? 9. Could he have won a lot of money in the casino? 10. Can they go to the Canaries next summer?
B in negative sentences
1. You can’t be mistaken. 2. They can’t have forgotten about the meeting. 3. He couldn’t be writing a new novel now. 4. She couldn’t have bought a new fur coat. 5. He can’t have had an accident. 6. Mary can’t invite the Jones to her place for the weekend. 7. They couldn’t have upset our plans. 8. She can’t waste a lot of time. 9. Mr. Fox couldn’t be a reliable person. 10. She couldn’t be making a cruise now.