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Definition of "can" [can]

  • Used to indicate physical or mental ability: I can carry both suitcases. Can you remember the war? (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used to indicate possession of a specified power, right, or privilege: The President can veto congressional bills. (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used to indicate possession of a specified capability or skill: I can tune the harpsichord as well as play it. (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used to indicate possibility or probability: I wonder if my long lost neighbor can still be alive. Such things can and do happen. (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used to indicate that which is permitted, as by conscience or feelings: One can hardly blame you for being upset. (auxiliary-verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "can" in a sentence
  • "You can store your delicious lychees in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, if you can  resist eating them all as soon as you bring them home from the supermarket."
  • "We know can rely on the market to deliver food in this country because experience has shown that the market *can* deliver food to everyone who needs it, at least for the past couple of hundred years."
  • "I have looked all over for your new book "Real Live Boyfriends" and I cant find it,,can you tell me if theres a web site or something that I can get it from?"