Can / Could / Be able to

Questions about ability and possibility.

See more grammar discussion topics

  1. Who in your life can you trust the most?
  2. What can you do better than most people?
  3. What can a person do to improve their language skills?
  4. Can you see anything interesting from your bedroom window?
  5. Could you speak any English five years ago?
  6. Could you read and write before you started school?
  7. Could you tie your own shoelaces when you were a child?
  8. Could your great-grandparents speak any foreign languages?
  9. Would you like to be able to sing?
  10. Were you able to spend time with friends last week?
  11. Have you been able to sleep well recently?
  12. Do you like being able to stay in bed late at the weekends?
PDF (Individual)
PDF (Pairs)
PDF (Threes)
PDF (Cards)
How to use the can / could / be able to ESL discussion questions

It is recommended that you download the can / could / be able to ESL discussion questions in PDF format using one of the links above. The best way to encourage classroom interaction is to download and print the can / could / be able to discussion questions in the 'pairs' or 'threes' PDF format and then divide the questions by cutting along the dotted lines. This allows students to take turns asking and answering the can / could / be able to discussion questions in groups of two or three. Alternatively, you could use the 'cards' format to distribute the questions to any number of students to ask and share.

It is advisable to prepare students for using these discussion questions by first introducing them to the topic of can / could / be able to in an interesting and engaging way. An anecdote, quiz question or a related image or video could all be used to achieve this. Depending on the level, it may also be necessary to pre-teach any challenging vocabulary related to can / could / be able to contained in the discussion questions.

For more ESL discussion questions, see this site's main page. There are discussion questions on a range of topics including general, grammar and business English topics.

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