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85 表示能力或可能性:can/could/be ableto Track085

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2020年08月01日

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85 表示能力或可能性:can/could/be ableto Track085

(1)表示现在或将来有能力做某事
can表示因为具备某些特点或条件某人能够完成某件事,或某事是可能存在的。所以can既表示有能力,也表示可能性。(注意:这里的“可能”与后边讨论的“推测”是不同的。)
例句
a. Bob can play the piano. He has taken lessons for many years.
(后天获得的能力)
b. John is strong. He can lift that heavy box. (能力)
c. A fish can’t walk, but it can swim. (天赋的能力)
d. Dogs can bark, but they cannot talk. (天赋的能力)
e. The theater can seat 10,000 people.(可能)
这个剧院可容纳一万人。
f.I can walk to school. It’s not far. (可能)
g. You can see fish at an aquarium(水族馆). (可能)
h. You can buy stamps at the post office, but you can’t buy shoes there.(可能)
注:表示现在有能力做某事,一般不用be able to。
(2)表示过去有能力做某事
在表示能力时,could可以作为can的过去式来表示过去有能力做某事。(注意:如果不表示能力,could则不表示过去。例如could可以表示现在的“许可”“推测”。)
例句
a. Our son could talk when he was two years old. (表示过去的能力用can的过去式could)
b. I could run fast when I was a child, but now I can’t.
c. In those days few workers could support their families.
那时很少有工人能够养家糊口。
(3)在表示 “过去有能力做某事” 时,could和was/were able to的用法区别
1)could只能表示过去“一般的能力,总的能力”。所谓“一般的能力 (general ability)”,即我们在过去想干什么就随时可以干什么。(这时,我们也可用was/were able to。)
例句
a. I could/was able to recite several poems when I was 3 years of age.
我在三岁时就能背诵几首诗。
b. I could/was able to run fast when I was a child, but now I can’t.
小时候我能跑得很快,但现在不行了。
c. He could/was able to pull down a bull and was acknowledged as a man with superman strength.(我们还可以说:He used to be able to…)
他那时能拉倒一头牛,被公认为是具有神力的人。
2)而要表示在过去某个特定场合所表现出的“特定的能力,具体的能力”,或表示某人在某一场合设法成功地完成了某件事,而非表示泛指的能力时,我们要用was/were able to。此时,was/were able to意思相当于succeeded in doing或managed to do。
(When used to denote past ability, COULD does not refer to a single instance of ability on a particular occasion, but rather, it signifies an ability in a very general sense. The successful demonstration of ability on a particular past occasion is expressed by means of “be able to”, “manage to ”, “succeed in”,etc.)
下面例句中均不能用could:
a. With the aid of the wood, he was able to swim across the river.
借助那块木头,他游到了河的对岸。
b. I applied everywhere and finally I was able to get a good job.
我到处应聘,最后找到了一份好工作。
c. He hurried to the station and was able to catch the train .
他匆匆忙忙赶到车站,赶上了火车。
d. The fire spread through the building quickly but everybody was able to escape. = …everybody managed to escape.
大火很快蔓延到整栋大楼,但是人们还是都逃了出来。
e. The two boys tried many ways to catch that sly fox and were able to do so at last .
两个男孩试用了多种方法去抓那只狡猾的狐狸,终于成功了。
f.Although the pilot was badly hurt he was able to explain what had happened.
尽管飞行员的伤势很严重,但是他还是解释了发生的一切。
g. Tom has started an exercise program. He was able to run two miles yesterday without stopping or slowing down.
汤姆开始了训练计划,他昨天跑了两英里,中途没有停也没有放慢速度。
3)在否定句中could 和was/were able to可以互换,也就是说在否定句中它们就不存在上述区别了。
例句
a. I applied everywhere but couldn’t get any good job.
b. The fire spread through the building quickly and people couldn’t escape.

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