Basic+ Word of the Day: can

can (auxiliary verb, noun) /past tense: could/ LISTEN

A can of tomatoes.

If you can do something, it means that it is possible for you to do it.

  • I can play the piano and the violin.

Some drinks and foods are in a metal can when you buy them.

  • I’d like a can of Coke please.

A trash can is something you can put garbage in.

  • Don’t put that bottle in the trash can. I’ll recycle it.

Did you know?

Because one of the meanings of can is ‘something you put garbage in,’ some people now use the word can to mean toilet (“I need to use the can.”), prison (“He was in the can for five years.”), or even backside (“She sits on her can and watches TV all day.”)!

In pop culture

The can-can is a famous dance from France. Can-can dancers were usually women, and they wore big skirts and kicked their legs.

In the past, men went to watch can-can dancers at a place called the Moulin Rouge, in Paris. In this video from the movie Moulin Rouge, you can see the women dancing a different kind of can-can.

There are other meanings of can.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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