Упражнения на Can, Could.

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Ex. 1. Explain the meanings of can in the following sentences:


1. But the next day she was not well. She could not leave her cabin.
2. We can discuss it now, clause by clause.
3. My son is not in town; but he will be before long. Can I give him any message?
4. What on earth induced her to behave as she did, I never could understand. She could have married anybody she chose.
5. Can I smoke, Mr Hawkins?

6. I ate the next course grimly to an end; she couldn’t have been enjoying her meal much either.
7. We’ll get you into the next room, and you can lie on the sofa for a bit.
8. What can have happened to change him so much?
9. Can there have been any misunderstanding in our first encounter?
10. The teacher said they could all go home.
11. A policeman arrived and told him he couldn’t park there.
12. Can he have changed now? Do you think it possible?
13. How did he get to know it? Who can he have been talking to?
14. “There’s no such train.” “We came by it.” “You can’t have.”
15. “Life,” the old man said, “can only be understood backward. Now I see clearly all the mistakes I made and could have avoided.”
16. Really he had no idea that she could use water-colour as well as that.
17. You and I are in charge of a great business. We cannot leave our responsibility to others.


Ex. 2. State in which of the following sentences the form could is (1) the Past Indefinite of can, (2) a form expressing unreality, (3) a more polite form of can and (4) a form implying more uncertainty than can:


1. She would often say that no one but she could control the little girl.
2. Could you bring me some paper, please, to write m
3. Milly asked what time it was, and her mother said it couldn't be more than one.
4. It was time for me to be getting back too, and I could have walked back with him. But I knew somehow that he didn’t want that, so I sat for a few minutes watching him as he went down the road.
5. From where I was I could see the clear profile of his face.
6. “Do you know what time we arrive at the frontier?” “I’m afraid I couldn’t tell you exactly.”
7. “It’s impossible,” exclaimed Phil. “He couldn’t have done it.”
8. It could not be done under the present circumstances.
9. You have no idea, I suppose, who could have been there.
10. You are Agatha, aren’t you? I could not be mistaken.
11. Perhaps you could tell me a little about these messages.
12. At present they could promise nothing.


Ex. 3. Explain the possible ways 1) of expressing negation in sentences with can used in the meaning of improbability in (a) and 2) of building up special questions with can used for emotional colouring in (b):


1. I was staggered by his youth. He could not have been much over thirty.
2. “They say he was her lover,” replied the man. “She can never have had one,” said Rosalia, with a laugh of scorn.
3. You could hardly expect Father to let you stay here under the circumstances.
4. I don’t think the idea can ever have occurred to him before.

1. Who can he be? She has never had a visitor before.
2. “I think she had something to do with the book.” “What can she have done?”
3. I don’t understand how you can have been so nice, and then do something so cruel.
4. “Somebody drew a pair of spectacles on the face of the portrait.” “Who do you think could have done it?”
5. The young woman rose from the yellow hammock. Mary’s first thought was how she could have been lying in a hammock and remained so tidy.


Ex. 3. Translate the following sentences into English using can in all of the possible meanings:


1. Ты мог бы перевести этот текст?
2. Эту книгу можно купить в любом магазине.
3. Он мог бы сделать это на прошлой неделе. Он был не особенно занят.
4. Он не мог показать нам расчеты, так как они не были готовы.
5. В комнате темно, я не могу наити свои вещи.
6. Не может быть, чтобы она ошиблась.
7. Неужели они ждали нас все это время?
8. Не может быть, чтобы вас послали ко мне. Я не имею к Этoму никакого отношения.
9. Можно мне чашку чая?
10. Он сказал, что мы можем идти.
11. Я могу вернуться автобусом.
12. Я мог бы вернуться автобусом.
13. Морис уставился на письмо. «И откуда оно могло прийти?»
14. Эванс был настолько неграмотным, что он просто не мог бц написать ни одного слова этого доклада.
15. «Она не поняла тебя», — вскричал Филипп. — «Она поняла меня достаточно хорошо». — «Вряд ли она тебя поняла», повторил он упрямо.
16. Дорога пешком обратно в гостиницу оказалась очень длин¬ной, и он никогда не проделал бы ее без карты.
17. У нее было квадратное лицо, которое, вероятно, никогда не выглядело молодым.
18. «На что ты смотришь, Вилли?» — «Ни на что, дорогая». —- «Нельзя смотреть ни на что».
19. Она сказала более громким голосом: «Ты слышишь меня?»
20. Никто не смог бы произвести на меня большее впечатление, чем это сделал ты.
21. В тот момент я мог бы убить его.
22. Ему не могло быть больше тридцати лет, когда мы с ним познакомились впервые.
23. Я умел плавать, когда мне было пять лет. Папа научил меня.
24.Они очень милы со мной. Просто невозможно быть более вежливыми и услужливыми.
25. Уже темнеет. Сколько же сейчас может быть времени?
26. Ты храбрый, раз работаешь с этими людьми. Я бы не мог с ними работать.
27.Он взял меню и сказал: «Ну, я полагаю, что ты проголодалась. Давай посмотрим, что мы можем поесть».
28. А как щенки? Можно мне посмотреть на них?



1. Could you translate this text?

2. You can buy this book at any shop.

3. He could have done it last week. He wasn’t particularly busy.

4. He could not show us the calculations. They were not finished.

5. It’s dark in the room, and I can’t find my things.

6. She can’t (couldn’t) have made a mistake.

7. Can (could) they have been waiting for us?

8. You can’t (couldn’t) have been sent to me. I have nothing to do with this.

9. Could I have a cup of tea?

10. He said we could go.

11. I can return on the bus.

12. I could return on the bus.

13. Maurice stared at the letter. “Now where could it have come from?”

14. Evans was so illiterate that he could not have written a word of the report.

15. “She didn’t understand you,” cried Philip. “She understood me well enough.” “She could not have understood you,” he repeated doggedly.

16. It was a very long walk back to the hotel, he could never have done it without a map.

17. She had a square face that could never have looked young.

18. “What are you looking at, Willy?” “Nothing, dear.” “You can’t be looking at nothing.”

19. She raised her voice and called, “Can you hear me?”

20. No one could have impressed me more than you did.

21. At that moment I could have killed him.

22. He cannot (couldn’t) have been more than thirty at the time we first met him.

23. I could swim when I was five. Daddy taught me.

24. They’re very nice to me. They could not be more polite and obliging.

25. It’s getting dark. What time can it be now?

26. You are brave to work with these people. I couldn’t do it.

27. He took the menu and said: “Well now, I suppose you’re hungry. Let’s see what we can have.”

28. How are the puppies? Can I have a look at them?


Ex. 4. То practise can, make up situations of your own using the following patterns:


1. не может быть, чтобы он ...


Не can't be that foolish.
He can’t be writing a novel.
He can’t have gone fishing.
He can’t have been walking in the rain.


2. неужели он...


Can he be your brother?
Can he be working so late?
Can he have left?
Can he have been looking for us?


3. и что (где, как, почему ...) это он...


What can he mean?
Where can he be hiding?
How can he have done it?
What can he have been doing in there?


4. он просто не может (не мог, не мог бы)...


Не can’t possibly do it.
He couldn’t possibly afford a car on his present salary.
He can’t possibly have done it.


5. не могу не ...


I can’t help thinking she has made a grave mistake.
I couldn't help seeing that she was ill.


6. мне ничего не остается как ...


I cannot but ask him for help.
I could not but put him up for the night.

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