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Confusing Pairs of Verbs Can and may let and leave lie and lay teach and learn rise and raise sit and set
Can and May n Can means “to be able to.” n May means “to be allowed to,” “to be permitted to,” or “to have the possibility of.”
Can means to be able to. n Can you tell me what time it is? n Are you able to tell me what time it is?
May means “to be allowed to,” or “to be permitted to.” n May I help you? n Allow or permit me to help you.
Let and Leave n Let means “to allow” or “to permit. let, let, let. n Leave means “to depart” or “to let stay or let be.” leave, left, left
Let means “to allow” or “to permit.” n Let me show you how to use the computer. n Allow me to show you how to use the computer.
Leave means “to depart” or “to let stay or let be.” n The train will leave at noon. n The train will depart at noon.
Lie and Lay Lie means “to recline” or “to rest.” lie, lay, lain. Lay means “to put” or “to place.” lay, laid, laid.
Lie means “to recline” or “to rest.” n I lie on the ship’s deck. n I rest or recline on the ship’s deck.
Lay means “to put” or “to place.” n Sarah will lay the package on the table. n Sarah will put or place the package on the table.
Teach and Learn nTnTeach means “to show how” or “to explain.” teach, taught, taught. nLnLearn means “to understand” or “to gain knowledge.” learn, learned, learned.
Teach means “to show how” or “to explain.” n I will teach you. n I will show you how or explain.
Learn means “to understand” or “to gain knowledge.” n You can learn eaisly. n You can understand or gain knowledge easily.
Rise and Raise n Rise means “to get up”or “to go up.” rise, rose, risen n Raise means to lift something up. raise, raised, raised
Rise means to “get up” or “to go up.” n The oil will rise from the ground. n The oil will go up from the ground.
Raise means to lift something up. n He will raise his hand. n He will lift up his hand.
Sit and Set n Sit means “to rest.” sit, sat n Set means “to place” or “to put.” set, set
Sit means “to rest.” n He will sit at the computer for hours. n He will rest at the computer for hours.
Set means “to place” or “to put.” n Please set the trap down gently. n Please place or put the trap down gently.
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