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can

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier that other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.
Charles De Montesquieu
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English

Etymology 1

Old English cunnan (to know (how)).

Pronunciation

Verb

Infinitive
-

Third person singular
can

Simple past
could

Past participle
couth (obsolete except in adjective use)

Present participle
-

- (third-person singular simple present can, present participle -, simple past could, past participle couth (obsolete except in adjective use))
  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To know.
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) To know how to; to be able to.
    She can speak English, French, and German.
    I can play football.
    Can you remember your fifth birthday?
  3. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) May; to be permitted or enabled to.
    You can go outside and play when you're finished with your homework.
    Can I use your pen?
Usage notes

For missing tenses, substitute inflected forms of be able to, as:

  • I might be able to go.
  • I was able to go yesterday.
  • I had been able to go before.
  • I will be able to go tomorrow.

The word could also suffices in many tenses. "I would be able to go" is equivalent to "I could go", and "I was not able to go" can be rendered "I couldn't go". (Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, "could verb" means "would be able to verb", but "couldn't verb" means "was/were not able to verb". It is unclear why.)

The present tense negative can not is often contracted to cannot or can't.

The use of can in asking permission is often considered impolite or incorrect.

Synonyms
Antonyms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Etymology 2

Middle English < Old English canne (glass, container, cup).

Pronunciation

Noun

a can (1)

Singular
can

Plural
{{{1}}}

can ({{{1}}})
  1. A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium.
  2. A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can).
  3. A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
  4. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) toilet, bathroom.
  5. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) buttocks.
  6. (slang) headphones
Synonyms
  • (cyclindrical metal container): tin (British & Australian at least)
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to can

Third person singular
can

Simple past
ed

Past participle
-

Present participle
n

to can (third-person singular simple present can, present participle n, simple past and past participle ed)
  1. To preserve, by heating and sealing in a can or jar
    They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
  2. to discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.)
    He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
  3. To shut up
    Can your gob.
  4. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) to fire or terminate an employee
    The boss canned him for speaking out.
Translations

Classical Nahuatl

Pronunciation

Adverb

cān

  1. Where.

Derived terms


Galician

Etymology

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:gl:Template:lang:la derivations]] canis.

Noun

can m. (plural cans)

Singular
can m.

Plural
cans m.

  1. dog

Interlingua

Noun

Singular
can

Plural
es

can (es)
  1. dog
  2. cock, hammer (of a firearm)

Irish

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [kan̪ˠ]

Verb

can

  1. To sing.

Conjugation

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
can chan gcan
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Italian

Noun

can m. (plural cani)

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) dog

Mandarin

Pinyin syllable

can

  1. A transliteration of any of a number of Chinese characters properly represented as having one of four tones, cān, cán, cǎn, or càn.

Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.


Spanish

Etymology

From [[w:Template:lang:la language|Template:lang:la]][[Category:es:Template:lang:la derivations]] canis. Compare Aromanian cãne, Portuguese cão.

Noun

can m. (plural canes)

Singular
can m.

Plural
canes m.

  1. dog, hound

See also


Turkish

Etymology

From Persian جان (jān), soul, vital spirit, life).

Noun

can (plural canlar)

  1. soul, life

Welsh

Adjective

can

  1. bleached, white
  2. hundred

Noun

can m. (plural caniau)
  1. can
  2. flour

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
can gan nghan chan

References

Elsewhere on the web

En-En

En-It

En-Fr

En-El

En-Sp

En-Mul

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