Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Modal Verb Can Examples


There are examples of the use of modal verb CAN in proverbs and quotations .

Proverbs

I
Note the use of the verb 'can' in the following proverbs and sayings.
  1. No man can serve two masters.
  2. A man can die but once.
  3. A golden key can open any door
  4. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
  5. A beggar can never be bankrupt.
  6. None can play the fool so well as a wise man.
  7. A man can do no more than he can.
  8. Give a lie twenty-four hours’ start and you can never overtake it.
  9. Two of a trade can never agree.
  10. Blind men can judge no colours.
  11. Two can live as cheaply as one.
  12. Don't try to walk before you can crawl .

II
Note the use of the verb 'can' in the negative form in the following proverbs and sayings.
  1. You cannot have it both ways.
  2. One cannot be in two places at once.
  3. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
  4. The leopard cannot change his spots.
  5. You cannot burn the candle at both sides.
  6. Never make threats you cannot carry out.
  7. You cannot make a crab walk straight.
  8. You cannot sell the cow and drink the milk.
  9. You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.
  10. A good horse cannot be of a bad colour.
  11. You cannot get a quart into a pint pot.
  12. You can lead the horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.
  13. Man cannot live by bread alone.
  14. If you can't be good, be careful
  15. If you can’t beat them, join them.
  16. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen
  17. If you can’t have the best, make the best of what you have.
  18. You can’t judge a tree by its bark.
  19. Money can’t buy everything.
  20. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  21. You can’t eat your cake and have it.
  22. You can't get blood out of a stone


III
Note the use of the passive infinitive after the verb 'can' in the following proverbs and sayings.
  1. Love cannot be forced.
  2. What can’t be cured must be endured.
  3. Love and cough cannot be hid.
  4. What is done cannot be undone.
  5. A fog cannot be dispelled with a fan.

 

Quotations

Note the use of the verb 'can' in the following quotations.
  1. You cannot fool all the people all the time. (Abraham Lincoln)
  2. One blind man cannot lead another one. (Luke, 6:39)
  3. If you don’t think about the future, you cannot have one. (John Galsworthy)
  4. He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. (George Bernard Shaw)
  5. Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long. (George Bernard Shaw)
  6. One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other. (Jane Austen)
  7. A man may build himself a throne of bayonets, but he cannot sit upon it. (William Ralph Inge)
  8. Those to whom nothing has ever happened   Cannot understand the unimportance of events. (Thomas Eliot)
  9. They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea. (Francis Bacon)
  10. No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  11. No man can justly censure or condemn another, because indeed no man truly knows another. (Thomas Browne)
  12. There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. (Aldous Huxley)
  13. Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information. (S. Johnson)
  14. Can we ever have too much of a good thing? (Miguel de Cervantes)
  15. If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? (Percy Bysshe Shelley)
  16. I couldn’t help it. I can resist everything except temptation. (Oscar Wilde)
  17. Examinations are formidable even to the best prepared, for the greatest fool may ask more than the wisest man can answer. (Charles Caleb Colton)
  18. Puny man can do nothing at all to help or please God Almighty, and Luck is not the hand of God. (Kurt Vonnegut. 'The Sirens of Titan')
  19. If facts weren't funny, or scary, or couldn't make you rich, the heck with them. (Kurt Vonnegut. 'Hocus Pocus')
  20. You cannot put the same shoe on every foot. (Publilius Syrus)
  21. Never promise more than you can perform. (Publilius Syrus. Maxim 528)
  22. Nothing can be done at once hastily and prudently.( Publilius Syrus. Maxim 557)
  23. Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. (Albert Einstein)
  24. Our eyes can never see enough to be satisfied; our ears can never hear enough. (Ecclesiastes, 1:8)