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can / could / able to

"Can" and "able to" are the same in the present tense:
  • Can you take on this project?

    Yes, I can take on this project.
  • Are you able to take on this project?

    Yes, I'm able to take on this project.

    The negative forms are can't and not able to - or unable to:
  • Sorry, I can't take on this project.
  • Unfortunately, I'm not able to take on this project
  • Unfortunately, I'm unable to take on this project.

    Can/can't are more informal and more common in everyday speaking. Able to and not able to / unable to are a little more formal.

    In the past, we use could/couldn't or was/wasn't able to (or was unable to):

    In general, both are used in the negative form:
  • I wasn't able to finish all my homework yesterday.
  • I was unable to finish all my homework yesterday.
  • I couldn't finish all my homework yesterday.

    But in the positive form, "was able to" is a little more common than "could":
  • I was able to leave work a little early yesterday.

    In the future, there is only will/won't be able to. Don't say "will can" or "won't can" - it's a common error in English!
  • I have some free time tomorrow, so I'll be able to work on this project.
  • Sorry, I won't be able to go fishing tomorrow. I have another commitment.

    When you are making a polite request for someone to do something, use "could" (more formal) or "can" (more informal):
  • Could you please bring me a glass of water?
  • Can you please bring me a glass of water?

    When asking about someone's abilities, you can use either CAN or ABLE TO:
  • Can you read Japanese?
  • Are you able to read Japanese?

    Can is probably more common in spoken English, simply because it's shorter.

  • --- >>>
    1. a / an / one
    2. able / capable
    3. accident / incident
    4. accurate / exact / precise
    5. ache / pain / hurt
    6. actual / current / present
    7. administrator / boss / manager
    8. adverse / averse
    9. advice / advise
    10. affect / effect
    11. afraid / scared / frightened
    12. after / later
    13. agenda / itinerary / schedule
    14. ago / back / before
    15. aid / assist / help
    16. aim / goal / objective
    17. alien / foreigner / stranger
    18. alive / life / live
    19. all / whole / every
    20. all of / each of
    21. all ready / already / all right / alright
    22. allow / let / permit
    23. allude / elude
    24. almost / mostly / nearly
    25. alone / lonely / only
    26. already / yet
    27. also / as well / too
    28. altar / alter
    29. although / though / even though
    30. among / between
    31. amoral / immoral
    32. amount / number / quantity
    33. ancient / antique
    34. angry / upset
    35. another / other / others
    36. answer / reply / respond
    37. any / some
    38. apartment / flat / studio
    39. apologize / sorry
    40. apology / excuse
    41. appraise / apprise
    42. arrive / come / get / reach
    43. as far as / as long as / as soon as
    44. assure / ensure / insure
    45. automobile / car / vehicle
    46. await / wait / hope / expect
    47. award / reward / prize
    48. awkward / embarrassing
    49. baggage / luggage
    50. beach / coast / shore
    51. beautiful / pretty
    52. become / get / turn
    53. been / gone
    54. before / in front of / opposite / across from
    55. beg / plead
    56. begin / start
    57. belong to / belong with / belong in
    58. below / under / beneath / underneath
    59. beside / besides
    60. big / large
    61. big / small / long / short / tall / huge / tiny
    62. bill / invoice / receipt
    63. blanket / comforter / quilt
    64. borrow / lend / loan / owe
    65. bother / disturb
    66. bravery / courage
    67. bring / take
    68. bring up / grow up
    69. Britain / England / the United Kingdom
    70. broad / wide
    71. by / until
    72. can / could / able to
    73. capital / capitol
    74. carpet / mat / rug
    75. ceiling / roof
    76. chance / possibility / opportunity
    77. change / switch
    78. chauffeur / driver
    79. city / downtown / town
    80. classic / classical
    81. clever / intelligent / smart
    82. close / shut
    83. close to / near / next to
    84. cloth / clothes / clothing
    85. collect / gather
    86. come back / go back / get back
    87. compliment / complement
    88. concern / concerned / concerning
    89. confident / confidant / confidence
    90. continually / continuously
    91. convince / persuade
    92. could / should / would
    93. council / counsel
    94. critic / critical / criticism / critique
    95. cure / treat / heal / recover
    96. custom / habit
    97. deadly / fatal / lethal
    98. decent / descent / dissent
    99. decline / deny / refuse / reject
    100. defect / fault / flaw
    101. definitely / definitively
    102. delay / late / postpone
    103. despite / in spite of
    104. die / died / dead
    105. difficult / hard
    106. dilemma / quandary
    107. dinner / supper / meal / snack
    108. dirt / earth / soil
    109. dirty / messy
    110. disability / handicap / impairment
    111. discover / find out / notice / realize
    112. discreet / discrete
    113. disease / illness
    114. disinterested / uninterested
    115. distinct / distinctive
    116. do / make
    117. dress / dressed / wear
    118. during / while / meanwhile / meantime
    119. e.g. / i.e.
    120. early / soon
    121. earn / gain / win
    122. economic / economical
    123. effective / efficient
    124. either / neither
    125. electric / electrical / electronic
    126. empathy / sympathy
    127. employees / staff
    128. end / finish
    129. enough / too
    130. enquire / inquire
    131. especially / specially
    132. every day / everyday
    133. ex- / former / previous
    134. explore / exploit
    135. extend / expand
    136. famous / infamous
    137. farther / further
    138. fee / fare / tax
    139. female / feminine / woman
    140. few / little / less / fewer
    141. fit / match / suit
    142. floor / ground
    143. for / since
    144. forest / jungle / wood / woods
    145. fun / funny
    146. girl / lady / woman
    147. good / well
    148. good evening / good night
    149. gratuity / tip
    150. guarantee / warranty
    151. gut / guts
    152. hard / hardly
    153. have / have got
    154. have to / must / need to
    155. haven't / don't have
    156. hear / listen
    157. hijack / kidnap
    158. historic / historical
    159. holiday / vacation
    160. hope / wish
    161. hopefully / thankfully
    162. hostel / hotel / motel
    163. house / home
    164. how about...? / what about...?
    165. human / humankind / human being / man / mankind
    166. hundred / hundreds
    167. I / my / me / mine / myself
    168. I = subject
    169. if / whether
    170. If I was... / If I were...
    171. ignore / neglect
    172. ill / sick
    173. impending / pending
    174. imply / infer
    175. in / into / inside / within
    176. in / on / at
    177. incite / insight
    178. income / salary / wage
    179. Indian / indigenous / Native American
    180. inhabit / live / reside
    181. intend / tend
    182. interested / interesting
    183. interfere / intervene
    184. its / it's
    185. job / work / career
    186. just / only
    187. kinds / types / sorts
    188. know / meet
    189. last / latest
    190. last / past
    191. late / lately
    192. lay / lie
    193. like / as
    194. little / small
    195. look / see / watch
    196. lose / loose
    197. lose / miss
    198. made of / made from
    199. marriage / married / wedding
    200. may / might
    201. moral / morale
    202. Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. / Miss
    203. music / song
    204. nausea / nauseous / queasy
    205. north / northern
    206. notable / noticeable
    207. ocean / sea / lake / pond
    208. oppress / suppress / repress
    209. overtake / take over
    210. pass away / pass out
    211. pass the time / spend time
    212. peak / pique
    213. persons / peoples
    214. poison / venom
    215. politics / policy
    216. poor / pore / pour
    217. pray / prey
    218. principal / principle
    219. problem / trouble
    220. quiet / silent
    221. raise / rise / arise
    222. regard / regards / regardless
    223. regretful / regrettable
    224. relation / relationship
    225. remember / remind / reminder
    226. replace / substitute
    227. resolve / solve
    228. review / revise
    229. rob / thief / steal
    230. safety / security
    231. sale / sell
    232. say / tell / speak
    233. scream / shout
    234. sensible / sensitive
    235. shade / shadow
    236. so / such
    237. so / very / a lot
    238. some time / sometime / sometimes
    239. stuff / things
    240. such as / as such
    241. suppose / supposed to
    242. then / than
    243. think about / think of
    244. tide / waves
    245. till / until
    246. to / for
    247. too / very
    248. travel / trip / journey
    249. United
    250. wake / awake / sleep / asleep
    251. wander / wonder
    252. wary / weary
    253. what / which
    254. which / that
    255. who / whom
    256. will / would
    257. worse / worst
    258. year-old / years old
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  • World Architecture

    Alberobello trulli

    Italy
    The Murgia dei Trulli, with its communes of Martina Franca, Locorotondo, Cisternino, and Alberobello, is located in the Apulian interior at the upper part of the heel of Italy. Although trulli are scattered throughout the region, more than 1,500 of them are in the Monti and Aja Piccola quarters, on the western hill of Alberobello. This unique conical house form is significant in the history of architecture because it perpetuated well into the twentieth century a construction technique practiced throughout the northern Mediterranean since prehistoric times. The name derives from truddu, Greek forcupola. The clustered stone dwellings of Alberobello, small by modern Italian housing standards, are built by roofing almost square or rectangular bases although some tend toward a circle with approximately conical cupolas of roughly worked flat limestone slabs, stacked without mortar in corbeled courses. These gray roofs, no two of which are quite the same, are normally crowned with a whitewashed pinnacle in the form of a sphere standing on a truncated inverted cone. Some are painted with symbols: astrological signs or Christian ones, and even some of older pre-Christian significance. As is often the case with vernacular architecture, geometrical precision is not a priority: nothing is truly right-angled, nothing truly plumb. Bernard Rudofsky describes the roof as a retrocedent wall, because it also encloses habitable space that is traditionally used for storage. Typically, the inside of the roof is a parabolic dome, formed by packing the gaps between the larger structural stones. The walls of the ground floor are thick enoughthey can be up to 10 feet 3.27 meters in older housesto include alcoves for a hearth or cupboards, or even a curtained-off recess for a bed. Doorways are low, and the interior, though whitewashed, is usually quite dingy because the windows are small, possibly for structural reasons. Curved walls make furnishing difficult. More recent trulli, the last of which were built in the 1950s, are interconnected with others to gain more living space. The oldest documented Alberobello examples date from the fifteenth century, coinciding with the foundation of a permanent agricultural community centered in the town. However, the essential building technique and the consequent house form are much older. The type, clearly related to the prehistoric nuraghi of Sardinia and the rather more sophisticated Mycenaean tholos, has been archeologically linked to both the nomadic pastoral Early Bronze culture and permanent agrarian communities in the Apennine region. Remarkably, similar constructions can be found in the middle of Scotland and on the west coast of Sweden. A plausible and somewhat romantic tradition dates the development of trulli as the house form of Alberobello to a single historical event. It is said that in the eighteenth century the local ruler Count Girolamo II of Acquaviva compelled the peasant farmers to build their houses with mortarless stone roofs. Because drywall structures were tax-exempt, and because they could be relatively easily dismantled before the regular visits of inspectors from Naples, he chose this method of tax avoidance. Although the people were freed from his regulation by a decree from Ferdinando IM of Bourbons in May 1797, the house form persisted, perhaps because of rural conservatism. Trulli are no longer built by the traditional technique and in the traditional style, but some of the master builders are still living, and the craft skills have not yet been lost. After the mid-1950s the romantic trulli were noticed by tourists and real-estate agents, and that has been to the detriment of many of them. Since the inclusion of the Alberobello precinct on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1996, serious archeological study has been undertaken, and the old craft skills have been applied to an extensive restoration program.


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