How do you answer a question with can?

If a question start with the modal verb can it is a Yes/No question that is meant to be answered direct and quick with a yes or no. If can is not at the start of the question the same can apply or you can expand your answer depending on the situation.

Q. Can you speak Japanese?” A. “Yes.” or “Yes, he can.”
Q. Can he play with us?” A. “No.” or “No, he can’t.”
Q. “Do you think you can complete the task by tomorrow?” A. “Yes.” or “Yes, I do.” or “Yes, I can complete it by tomorrow.”

When someone uses the word can in a question, they’re often asking if something is possible, if permission is granted, or if someone has the ability to do something. Here’s how to answer simply and correctly.

can question answer example people talking about dogs

Understanding ‘Can’: Can is used to talk about ability, permission, or possibility. Your answer will depend on what the question is about.

1. Saying Yes:

  • Ability: If asked, “Can you swim?” and you can swim, just say, “Yes, I can.”
  • Permission: If someone asks, “Can I leave early today?” and this request is okay with you, answer, “Yes, you can.”
  • Possibility: For a question like “Can we see the movie tonight?” if it is likely, you might say, “Yes, we can.”

2. Saying No:

  • Ability: If someone asks, “Can you speak Spanish?” and you cannot, respond with, “No, I can’t.”
  • Permission: If someone asks can they borrow your phone and you’re not okay with it, simply say, “No, you can’t.”
  • Possibility: When asked “Can a fish live out of water?” since it’s impossible, just say, “No, it can’t.”

3. Adding More Information: Sometimes, you might want to give a little more information. For example, if someone asks, “Can you help me this weekend?” you can say, “Yes, I can help you on Sunday afternoon.”

10 Examples of how to answer a question with can

Here are some common example question with common answers. The answer to a can question does not always need to be a simple “Yes” or “Yes, I can“. It is good to add or change the answer for a more interesting conversation.

Example QuestionPositive AnswerNegative Answer
Can it snow in April here?Yes, it can snow.No, it usually doesn’t.
Can this device connect to Wi-Fi?Yes, it can connect.No, it can’t connect.
Can we see the stars tonight?Yes, if it’s clear.No, it’s too cloudy.
Can I eat chocolate?Yes, if you are hungry.Definitely not.
Can I travel without a passport?Yes, but not internationally.Absolutely not.
Can she speak three languages?Yes, she can.No, she can’t.
Can they win the championship this year?Yes, they can win.No, it’s unlikely.
Can that old car still be driven?Yes, it still works.No, it’s too old now.
Can we finish the project by next week?Yes, we can finish it.No, we need more time.
Can lightning strike the same place twice?Yes, it can happen.It’s very rare, though.

Conclusion: Remember, answering can questions is easy once you understand the type of question being asked. With a little practice, you’ll be able to respond confidently and clearly!

Quick Tips:

  • Listen carefully to understand the type of can question.
  • Practice these responses to become more confident in your answers.

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