able to, unable to (not able to), can, could, cannot, could not are the special words in English used to indicate person’s ability or inability, capability or incapability. These words systematically relate with each other, can be used alternatively in sentences.
|Example Set 1|
|I can speak English fluently.
I am able to speak English fluently.
|Steven cannot drive a car today
Steven is unable to drive a car today.
|Can you help me to find words in dictionary?
Are you able to help me to find words in dictionary?
|The players could show their better skill.
The players were able to show their better skill.
|She could not control her emotions.
She was unable to control her emotions.
|We couldn’t walk properly during the snowfall.
We were not able to walk properly during the snowfall.
|My father could speak at least 10 languages.
My father was able to speak at least 10 languages.
|Our English teacher can explain it quite better.
Our English teacher is able to explain it quite better.
|Students couldn’t attend the guest lecture.
Students were unable to attend the guest lecture.
|I’m sorry. I can’t help Jack in this situation.
I’m sorry. I’m not able to help Jack in this situation.
|Example Set 2
|‘can’ Sentences||‘able to’ Sentences|
|John can type 100 words per minute.||John is able to type 100 words per minute.|
|Clara can cook very well.||Clara is able to cook very well.|
|He can study even if it’s so noisy around.||He is able to study even if it’s so noisy around.|
|They can manage everything properly.||They are able to manage everything properly.|
|We can live together happily.||We are able to live happily.|
|Robert can speak Spanish very fluently.||Robert is able to speak Spanish very fluently.|
|Can you meet me in the evening, please?||Are you able to meet me in the evening, please?|
|Those students can win the competition.||Those students are able to win the competition.|
|This flowering tree can grow so fast.||This flowering tree is able to grow fast.|
|We can complete the project by tomorrow.||We are able to complete the project by tomorrow.|
|I can do everything on my own.||I am able to do everything on my own.|
|Emma can dance excellently.||Emma is able to dance excellently.|
|He can realize his dream.||He is able to realize his dream.|
|Can you understand what I am saying?||Are you able to understand what I am saying?|
|I can help you, if you need any.||I am able to help you, if you need any.|
|You can become successful in life.||You are able to become successful in life.|
|He can deliver a speech confidently.||He is able to deliver a speech confidently.|
|Jane can feel happy now.||Jane is able to feel happy now.|
|He can jump over this much high wall.||He is able to jump over this much high wall.|
|They can meet their basic needs.||They are able to meet their basic needs.|
|Can she do this task?||Is she able to do this task?|
|Can you watch a horror movie by yourself?||Are you able to watch a horror movie by yourself?|
|Amanda can bake good cakes.||Amanda is able to bake good cakes.|
|We can save the situation, if we are united.||We are able to save the situation, if we are united.|
|That little girl can speak so clearly.||That little girl is able to speak so clearly.|
|We can get many opportunities further.||We are able to get many opportunities further.|
|She can learn new things easily and quickly.||She is able to learn new things easily and quickly.|
|He is the only person who can help you at the moment.||He is the only person who is able to help you at the moment.|
|Joseph can make strong arguments.||Joseph is able to make strong arguments.|
|He can make you happy.||He is able to make you happy.|
|Example Set 3
|‘cannot’ Sentences||‘unable to’ Sentences|
|I cannot do this anymore.||I am unable to do this anymore.|
|They cannot adjust with each other.||They are unable to adjust with each other.|
|We cannot complete this work within a week.||We are unable to complete this work within a week|
|Jane cannot make such a mistake.||Jane is unable to make such a mistake.|
|I cannot hear you clearly.||I am unable to hear you clearly.|
|The injured bird cannot fly now.||The injured bird is unable to fly now.|
|Heathcliff cannot sleep peacefully due to nightmares.||Heathcliff is unable to sleep peacefully due to nightmares.|
|We cannot meet each other again.||We are unable to meet each other again.|
|He cannot sing henceforth.||He is unable to sing henceforth.|
|Emma cannot marry John.||Emma is unable to marry John.|
|The prisoner cannot cope up with the world after coming out.||The prisoner is unable to cope up with the world after coming out.|
|We cannot trust any stranger.||We are unable to trust any stranger.|
|He cannot play well owing to leg injury.||He is unable to play well owing to leg injury.|
|I cannot sky-dive.||I am unable to sky-dive.|
|Paul cannot read and write.||Paul is unable to read and write.|
|I cannot go there all alone.||I am unable to go there all alone.|
|She cannot see clearly because of the weak eye-sight.||She is unable to see clearly because of the weak eye-sight.|
|We cannot win the match at any rate.||We are unable to the match at any rate.|
|My laptop cannot work properly.||My laptop is unable to work properly.|
|We cannot succeed unless we work hard.||We are unable to succeed unless we work hard.|
|You cannot recover soon, if you don’t take the medicines.||You are unable to recover soon, if you don’t take the medicines.|
|She cannot understand the feelings of others.||She is unable to understand the feelings of others.|
|I cannot recall her name right now.||I am unable to recall her name right now.|
|He cannot play Chess.||He is unable to play Chess.|
|They cannot do anything in life.||They are unable to do anything in life.|
|I cannot interpret this text.||I am unable to interpret this text.|
|People cannot live without cell-phones these days.||People are unable to live without cell-phones these days.|
|We cannot survive without oxygen.||We are unable to survive without oxygen.|
|They cannot study together.||They are unable to study together.|
|I cannot tolerate this nonsense.||I am unable to tolerate this nonsense.|
Useful Expressions in English Speaking
Grammar: Spot the Error
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