What Is Ability?
The ability refers to all the powers and skills you have to do something. When we talk about our abilities we are actually talking about things that we are able to do.
Ways to Express Abilities
There are different ways to express your abilities. They may seem typical to you and you may use all these words regularly. Follow the list to get to know them.
Using 'Can' (Present)
Using 'Could' (Past)
'Could' is the past tense of can. It is a modal verb as well. And it stands the same for all the pronouns and subjects. We use the term could to talk about the abilities that we used to have in a past period of time. They may still exist while we do not try doing them again or they may be gone for good.
Using 'Be Able to' (Present and Past)
This expression is used to talk about the abilities. As there is (to be verb) in the structure of this expression you can easily use (am, is, are) in the present tense and (was, were) in the past tense.
Using 'Could Have' (Past)
Using 'Can' (Future)
We use the modal verb can to refer to things that we are going to be able to do in the future. Here are the examples.
Using 'Be Able to' (Future)
You can use the modal verb 'will' before be able to to talk about abilities you will have in the future.
Using 'Be Unable to' (Future and Past)
'To be unable to do' something means that we cannot do the particular thing. In other words, despite having an affirmative structure this expression means negative, and we cannot use double negative with it.
Here are the negative forms for all these words and expressions.
- Cannot → can't
- Could not → couldn't
- Could not have → couldn't have
- Was/were/am/is/are not able to → isn't/aren't able to
- Will not be able to → won't be able to
To talk about the abilities we have, we can use the modals can and could. On the other hand, we can also use the verb phrase to be able to. Here are the functions of these verbs based on possible tenses, they are used in.
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