English Speaking Exercises for A1 – Talking about ability and asking for permission

1. Label the instruments with the words below.

clarinet     drums     flute     guitar     piano     saxophone     trumpet     violin

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1 piano   2 guitar   3 drums   4 flute   5 violin

6 clarinet   7 saxophone   8 trumpet

2. Look at the table. Then write sentences with can or can’t.

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1 Ted / the violin

     Ted can’t play the violin.

2 Marie / Chinese

  ____________

3 Mason / a bike

  ____________

4 Ted and Sophie / football

  ____________

5 Marie and Sophie / the violin

  ____________

6 Ted / Chinese

______________

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2 Marie can speak Chinese.

3 Mason can ride a bike.

4 Ted and Sophie can play football.

5 Marie and Sophie can’t play the violin.

6 Ted can’t speak Chinese.

3. Write questions with Can ___ ? and the information in brackets. Then write answers using the table in exercise 2.

(Ted / football)  Can Ted play football? Yes, he can.

(Marie / violin)  ______________

(Sophie and Mason / bike) ______________

(Marie and Mason / Chinese) ______________

(Mason / football) ______________

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2 Can Marie play the violin? No, she can’t.

Can Sophie and Mason ride a bike? Yes, they can.

4 Can Marie and Mason speak Chinese? Yes, they can.

Can Mason play football? No, he can’t.

4. Put the words in the correct order to ask for permission. Then add them to the correct mini-dialogues (1-6).

question / ask / I / can / a    Can I ask a question?

b borrow / pencil / can / a / I   ________.?

book / share / I / your / can   ________.?

d copy / answer / I / can / your   ________.?

use / dictionary / can / your / I   ________.?

borrow / can / I / £1   ________.?

1   A Can I ask a question?

b Yes, of course. What is it?

2   A Write your name here, please.

b OK. ________

3   A Have you got money for the bus?

b No, I haven’t. ________

4   A I don’t understand question 3. ________

b No, you can’t!

5   A Turn to page 56.

b Oh no! book is at home. ________

6   A How do you spell ‘clarinet’?

b I’m not sure. ________

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2 b  Can I borrow a pencil?

3 f Can I borrow £1?

4 d  Can I copy your answer?

5 c Can I share your book?

6 e  Can I use your dictionary?

5. Write true sentences about your abilities using can / can’t and the verbs in brackets.

1 (swim)   I can swim. / I can’t swim.

2 (sing)   ________

3 (dance)   ________

4 (ski)   ________

5 (ride a horse)   ________

6 (speak French)   ________

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2 I can/can’t sing.

3 I can/can’t dance.

4 I can/can’t ski

I can/can’t ride a horse.

I can/can’t speak French.

6. Now write five sentences about what your friends and family can or can’t do.

friend Adam can speak Russian.

_____

_____

_____

_____

_____

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