I had written “I can't be available from 9-10.” My friends suggested that I rewrite it as “I can't be available from 9-10”. Both answers were not satisfying me. I had searched on the internet for correct form sentence. The suggestion is I need to use the verb will rather than can.

  1. I can't be available from 9-10.
  2. I can't available from 9-10.
  3. I will not be available from 9-10.

Can anyone explain me in detail difference in three statements? How be effected tense of statement 1 & 2? Where can I use can in the future sentence with detailed examples?

  • Please see also English Language Learners Good Luck. – Kris May 21 '18 at 7:05
  • 1
    The colloquial expression is 'I am not available ...'. 'Cannot' is not really true. I can if I want, but I choose not to be and therefore I am not. – Nigel J May 21 '18 at 8:37
  • The first two examples are identical. Who wrote 1 and who 2? – Mari-Lou A May 22 '18 at 9:38
  • Ahh there's an answer, I didn't see that in the review queue. Regardless, the formatting had to be improved on, and I fixed minor grammar details. – Mari-Lou A May 22 '18 at 9:40
  • @Mari-LouA First one was by me, the second one was from my friend. – kvk30 Jul 6 '18 at 15:56

As far as I can tell what you wrote and what your friends suggested are exactly the same so I can't comment on that, but here are some thoughts on the three numbered sentences:

  1. This is grammatically correct, but is semantically odd as available isn't generally volitional (although some people use it that way)--it describes a state of being and not an action.

  2. This is not grammatically correct; available is an adjective and can't be used as a verbal complement to can't.

  3. This is also grammatically correct and is preferred over 1 because will can be used in a non-volitional sense as in "I will be alive tomorrow."

Alternatively, you can also dispense with the modal verb will and just say, "I am not available from 9 to 10 (am? pm?)" or "I am unavailable from 9 to 10 (am? pm?)"

Also, as a side note, suggest can't take an indirect object ("suggested me to"). Some acceptable ways to use it would be:

  1. My friends suggested (that) I do this
  2. My friends suggested doing this.
  3. My friends suggested this sentence.
  4. My friends suggested what I should write.

See this for more information: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/common-verbs/suggest

| improve this answer | |
  • *unavailable (typo, last sentence?). Also, in 2 in the original question, "attend" would substitute nicely for "available". – Pam May 21 '18 at 7:13
  • @ZacharyLim You suggested me, right? Is it a correct sentence and usage for suggest? – kvk30 May 21 '18 at 8:49
  • @kvk30 No, me is an indirect object. Take a look at the link I included. – Zachary May 21 '18 at 9:07
  • Then it would be rewritten as my friends suggested to me, right? – kvk30 May 21 '18 at 9:16
  • to me is just a prepositional phrase; you still need a direct object, e.g. My friends suggested to me that I eat an apple. While many languages allow the direct object to be left out, English doesn't. – Zachary May 21 '18 at 9:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.