can Definition

  • 1to be able to
  • 2a container for holding liquids or food
  • 3a metal container used for preserving food

Using can: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "can" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I can swim.

  • Example

    Can you speak Spanish?

  • Example

    He can run faster than me.

  • Example

    She put the soup in a can.

  • Example

    I need a can of tomatoes for the recipe.

can Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for can

Phrases with can

  • to postpone dealing with a problem or making a decision, often repeatedly


    The government has been kicking the can down the road on this issue for years.

  • completed or finished


    The movie is finally in the can and ready for release.

  • a complicated or unpleasant situation that, once started, is likely to become worse


    Bringing up the topic of politics at dinner was a real can of worms.


Summary: can in Brief

The word 'can' [kæn] has two main meanings. As a verb, it means 'to be able to', as in 'I can swim.' As a noun, it refers to a container for holding liquids or food, such as 'She put the soup in a can.' 'Can' also has idiomatic phrases like 'kick the can down the road,' meaning to postpone a decision, and 'can of worms,' referring to a complicated situation.

How do native speakers use this expression?