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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
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    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
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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

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