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Usage of the phrase 'cant able to'

I can't able to do this work.

The phrase can't able to is an incorrect usage. I have heard many people using this phrase. There is no phrase as 'can't able' in English. It should be either will not be able or am not able depending on the person and the tense.

The correct version is the following:
'I will not be able to do this work' if it is future tense or 'I am not able to do this work' if it is present tense.

The same applies to the phrase 'can able'. This is a wrong usage. It should be 'will be able'.

For example the sentence 'Sita can able to dance' is wrong. The correct usage is 'Sita will be able to dance'.


#178072    Author: Sukhdev Singh    19 Feb 2011 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3 (Rs 2)

Dear Janaki,

Both the modal verb 'can' and the phrase 'be able to'have similar meaning.

Both the following sentences are correct:

I can do this work.

I am able to do this work.

The forms of verb 'be' in the present are : 'is, am, are'

Both 'can' and 'able to' cannot be used in the same sentence because both of them have the same meaning.


Sukhdev Singh
Editor ISC

"Teaching is my passion and sharing knowledge is my motto"
Sukhdev Singh
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#180101    Author: Ruchi  28 Feb 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3


"can't able to" appears to be an oxymoron. Oxymoron s are combination of two words having contradictory meaning. Can't and able have just the opposite meaning. Such words are never used together. Either 'can't' is used or 'able' is used.

Similarly can and able also cannot be used together as these are the words having same meaning and it causes redundancy. Either 'can' is used or 'able' is used.

Thus able is not used with both 'can' and 'can't'.



#180115    Author: Mohit Gupta    28 Feb 2011 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Hello All!

This is a good information. We generally use this phrase in common language which is grammatically wrong. Like sometimes we use while introducing "I am so and so" but the correct phrase is " My name is --"

So thanks for the knowledge again.


Mohit Gupta

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