Can/Can't you play football ? if you want I'll show you.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Crimson-Sky, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. Crimson-Sky Senior Member

    بلاد بابل - Babylonia
    Arabic-العربية
    Hello
    Can/Can't you play football ? if you want I'll show you.
    is it can't or can ? i think it should be can't, anyhow this was an exercise and the answer was can.
    Thank you.
     
  2. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    I think the more natural answer is Can't. After all a person who can't is more likely to need showing that someone who can. But like so many of the these questions, can is not out of the question. Some people like being ironic.
     
  3. morzh

    morzh Banned

    USA
    Russian
    It is both.

    Can - will mean a question about if he can play football.
    Can't - is a surprise about that he can't play; or about a guess that he can't. Or asking for a reason for something that makes one doubt taht he can play.

    - Can you play footbal? If you can, we could use another forward in our team.


    - We are going to play football. Are you coming with us?
    - No.
    - Can't you play? or are you simply not interested?
     
  4. DocPenfro

    DocPenfro Senior Member

    Little England
    English - British
    Either can or can't would be acceptable in general terms. The difference is:

    "Can you play football?" is a neutral query, with no expectations of a particular answer.

    "Can't you play football?" implies that the questioner is expecting the most likely answer to be "No." This option is supported by the follow-up offer.
     
  5. Crimson-Sky Senior Member

    بلاد بابل - Babylonia
    Arabic-العربية
    Thank you all :)
     

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