Intermediate Grammar – Modal Verb Can – Interrogative


(that’s “hello” in Spanish).

Welcome back to our grammar lessons.

This will be an intermediate class on using the modal verb “can” in questions. If you are not sure of your English level, take our test!

You can find all of this information, plus speaking exercises, writing exercises, vocabulary exercises and more on the ABA English Course Unit 51 “Two secretaries”. Click here to sign up for free.

In case you forgot, we taught you all about modal verbs in Unit 49 and all about the verb “can” in Unit 50.

Ok, let’s start!

Modal Verb: Can – interrogative

How do we do this? We put “can” before the subject. It’s very simple!

For example:

Can you dance?”

So to form a question, you put “can” first followed by the subject “you”.

As we saw in Units 49 and 50, “can” is used to talk about general ability.

For example:

Can you play tennis?”

Can he cook good food?”

We can also use it to talk about possibility.

For example:

Can you come to the office?”

Can they babysit the kids?”

Modal verb: Can – short affirmative and negative answers

So how do we answer all of these questions?

Well, for the affirmative we simply use “can”.

For example:

Can she speak English?” “Yes, she can

And now the modal verb “can” with short answers in the negative. We say “can not“, or “can’t

For example:

Can he speak English?” “No, he can’t

Remember that we also use “can” with requests and to ask permission!


Well done!

In Unit 51 “Two secretaries”, you will meet Shirley and Michelle. Michelle can help Shirley… but how? By watching the ABA Film, you will practice your listening comprehension. Record your voice and compare phrases to improve your speaking and learn how to write correctly. You will also gain fluency by interpreting roles and then you will learn the grammar and new vocabulary.

So remember: if you enjoyed this lesson, don’t forget to sign up! (it’s free!)

One comment

  1. hi, can any one help me! I just want to transform this sentence into interrogative form: ‘they must also help”, -> What must they also do?

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