What Part of Speech is Can [ Verb, Auxiliary Verb ]

In English, the word “can” can be used as a verb or an auxiliary verb.

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Verb

As a verb, “can” is used to indicate the ability to do something. It is used to describe the possibility or capability of a person or thing to perform an action.

For example:

  • “I can run fast.” (indicating the ability to run fast)
  • “She can sing beautifully.” (indicating the ability to sing beautifully)
  • “He can lift heavy weights.” (indicating the ability to lift heavy weights)
  • “The cat can climb trees.” (indicating the ability to climb trees)
  • “We can speak Spanish.” (indicating the ability to speak Spanish)

Auxiliary Verb

As an auxiliary verb, “can” is used to form the present tense of modal verbs. Modal verbs are a type of verb that is used to indicate the possibility or probability of an action or event. In this role, “can” is used to express permission or the ability to do something. For example:

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  • “Can I borrow your pen?” (requesting permission to borrow something)
  • “She can speak French fluently.” (indicating the ability to speak French fluently)
  • “He can play the piano.” (indicating the ability to play the piano)
  • “We can go to the park if you want.” (offering the possibility of going to the park)
  • “They can come to the party if they want.” (offering the possibility of coming to the party)

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