Grammar 2-06 | False Beginner | CEFR A1

Can - Abilities

Listen to four conversations of people talking about abilities.

Conversation 1

Aimee: So Todd, are you good at sports?
Todd: I am pretty good at sports. I can play basketball and baseball, and I can run pretty fast, but I cannot jump that high.
Aimee: Can you play soccer?
Todd: No, I cannot play soccer well because I am not good at kicking the ball.

Conversation 2

Aimee: Can you sing well?
Todd: No, I can't sing at all. I have a terrible voice. My friend can sing very well though. She has a beautiful voice.
Aimee: Can you play an instrument?
Todd: No, I cannot play an instrument either. I have no talent in music.

Conversation 3

Todd: Are you good at cooking?
Aimee: I cannot cook very well. I can only make basic things.
Todd: Oh, yeah, what can you cook?
Aimee: I can cook an omelet, and I can bake cookies. That is all I can do.
Todd: Yeah, I can't cook either. So are you good at computers?
Aimee: I'm very good at computers. I can make websites and I can write software.
Todd: Ooh, can you fix an computer?
Aimee: I can fix an computer.
Todd: Great, can you fix my computer?
Aimee: I can try!

Conversation 4

Todd: Are you good with cars?
Aimee: I'm pretty good with cars. I can fix them if they need repairs.
Todd: Yeah, what sort of things can you do?
Aimee: I can do lots of things like change the tire and and change the oil.
Todd: Ooh, that's great.

Can / Be good at

Point 1: We use can to show abilities.
  1. I can play tennis.
  2. She can speak Italian.
  3. They can build a computer.
  4. This dictionary can hold one million words.
Point 2: The negative form of can has three spellings: can not, cannot and can't.
  1. I can't go tonight.
  2. She cannot speak German.
  3. I can not get an internet connection.
  4. My car cannot go very fast.
Point 3: The adverb well is used to show a high ability at doing something.
  • Can you speak Japanese well?
  • I cannot speak it very well. I can speak it just a little.
  • What can you do well?
  • I can cook fairly well.
Point 4: The phrase be good at means you can do something well.
  1. Are you good at sports?
  2. Yes, I am pretty good at sports.
  3. Are you good at computers?
  4. No, I am not good at computers at all.
Answer the following questions about the interview.