There are 2 main translations of can in Spanish

: can1can2


(forms of) poder, v.

Pronunciation /kən/

verbcanned, canning

  • 1

    (indicating ability) (forms of) poder
    (referring to particular skills) (forms of) saber
    can you come to the dance this evening? ¿puedes venir al baile esta noche?
    • she couldn't answer the question no pudo contestar la pregunta
    • the house can accommodate six people en la casa se pueden alojar seis personas
    • I'll do what I can haré lo que pueda / lo que esté en mi mano
    • they did all they could hicieron todo lo que pudieron
    • I can't stay long no me puedo quedar mucho rato
    • can't you keep still? ¿no puedes estarte quieto?
    • I cannot believe she said that no puedo creer que dijera eso
    • we can but try con intentarlo no se pierde nada
    • will things improve? — we can but hope so ¿mejorarán las cosas? — esperemos que sí
    • I can't but agree no puedo menos que estar de acuerdo
    • can you swim/speak German? ¿sabes nadar/(hablar) alemán?
    • she could read music when she was four a los cuatro años ya sabía leer música
    • The police are eager to speak to anyone who can help us to find and arrest the culprits.
    • The challenge for me is first to make the final and then to go as fast as I can.
    • It turns out men and women can set the alarm clock or preset some radio stations with equal ease.
    • They rip up old track quickly and lay new track much faster than can be completed by hand.
    • What they want is one or two books a week which sell in thousands, pretty much as fast as they can unpack them.
    • Somehow the gap between what can be afforded and the price of houses must be bridged.
    • In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as its slowest brain cells.
    • As well as losing her speech, Holly's eyesight is fading fast and she can no longer walk.
    • The gallery is full of extraordinary art with price tags people can actually afford.
    • If you are not working but can still afford it, consider contributing to your pension.
    • From the ridge he could see for miles in all directions as the horizon stretched away into the misty mountains.
    • She has seen the effect council cuts and price increases have had on those who can least afford them.
    • Your best return is likely to be had by reducing the debt as fast as you can.
    • You travel four times faster than you can walk using the same amount of energy.
    • Dedicating a room to formal dining and nothing else is a luxury most of us can ill afford.
    • Sometimes she could not get her car out of the garage because rubbish bags were against them.
    • At six or seven years old, if you can run fast you're a great player and everyone wants you in their team.
    • Phil on the other hand drives fast and you can feel it when he changes the gears but it's not too bad.
    • Anyone can drive fast, what's more important is how good you car looks when it stops.
    • I also work hard but because I am taxed to the hilt I can rarely afford to play hard.
    • His wife and family did what they could to make life bearable, but his loneliness remained.
  • 2

    • 2.1(indicating, asking etc permission)

      (forms of) poder
      I can't stay out late no puedo / no me dejan volver a casa tarde
      • can I come with you? ¿puedo ir contigo?
      • you can't go in there, madam no puede entrar ahí, señora
      • you can stay as long as you like te puedes quedar todo el tiempo / todo lo que quieras
      • The men will also face restrictions on who they can meet and on access to mobile phones and the internet.
      • Tell your child she can phone you at any time while away on a visit, if she's upset or worried in any way.
      • You are told that you can open the door at any time you wish, but only once, and only briefly.
      • Signal controlled crossings mean pedestrians can only cross when permitted to do so.
      • At this time, civilians could not buy and operate surplus military aircraft in Australia.
      • Some other places can stay open for longer because they have an entertainment licence.
      • Only law officers could legally bear arms.
      • Secondly, the bigger casinos will need to get a regional licence before they can open.
      • Canada, however, can only take 11 players to the Olympics.
      • It argues that motorists are often confused as to how fast they can go on certain roads.
      • It takes a couple of seconds to phone a team doctor and check if you can take something.
      • Teenagers can't go into pubs and clubs without fake ID.

    • 2.2(in requests)

      (forms of) poder
      can you turn that music down, please? ¿puedes bajar esa música, por favor?
      • can I have two salads, please? ¿me trae dos ensaladas, por favor?
      • I have a problem with my computer, can you help me?
      • Alice, can't you please offer any advice or give me a hand to overcome these uncontrollable urges?
      • He emerged from the shop empty handed, and said: I'm sorry, can you lend me £6?
      • Can't you be more reasonable?
      • Could you do me a favor?
      • Can you open that window?
      • Could you not stick to what I actually said?
      • Could you please shed some light on this issue?
      • Can't you go outside for a minute?
      • Could you get me some of that shampoo?

    • 2.3(in offers)

      can I help you? ¿me permite?
      • can I carry that for you? ¿quieres que (te) lleve eso?
      • We could eat out somewhere and get to know each other if you want.
      • ‘We could stay another week,’ Trent suggested.
      • We could have another go if you like?
      • Once again, can I reiterate my offer to Mrs Fell to go through any problems she has.
      • Michael said he could take me and Christie home.
      • I can go a lot slower if you want.
      • You can try calling him if you want to.

  • 3

    • 3.1(with verbs of perception)

      I can't see very well no veo muy bien
      • can you hear me? ¿me oyes?
      • I could hear every word they said oía todo lo que decían
      • as you can see, there's a lot of work to be done como ves / puedes ver, hay mucho que hacer

    • 3.2(with verbs of mental activity)

      I can't understand it no lo entiendo
      • can you remember her name? ¿te acuerdas de cómo se llama?
      • I could guess what had happened me imaginaba lo que había pasado
      • can't you tell he's lying? ¿no te das cuenta de que está mintiendo?

  • 4

    • 4.1(allow oneself to)

      (forms of) poder
      you can't blame her no puedes echarle la culpa
      • I couldn't very well tell him just then no se lo podía decir justo en ese momento
      • What can Blackburn offer these areas that their existing councils fail to provide?
      • If this was the pinnacle of what the the tour can offer, what can the lower reaches be like?
      • Players like that are few and far between and can we really afford to lose another of our goalscorers?
      • Surely he cannot be serious as to the farming out of such a serious subject as the future of the environment
      • Who but the most resentful can seriously doubt that he, too, belongs on that list?
      • Now, if a telephone company can't even sort out their own phone lines, how can they sort out mine?
      • How in that case, can the sky simply open and pour upon a whole big city hour after hour after hour of rain?
      • How misguided can you be to choose to eat your lunch in a place that has always been noted for pigeons?
      • How many Japanese mobile phone owners can want to know about North London happenings?
      • What could be more perverse than playing hard to get when looking for the one we can really open up to?
      • Where could she be?
      • If you live in New York City, you can't have missed the foundation's first set of ads.

    • 4.2(in suggestions, advice)

      can't you give it another try? ¿por qué no lo vuelves a intentar?
      • you can't let him have the last word no puedes dejar que diga la última palabra

    • 4.3(in orders)

      for a start, you can clean all this up puedes empezar por limpiar todo esto
      • if you don't behave you can go straight to bed si no te portas bien, te vas inmediatamente a la cama

  • 5

    • 5.1(indicating possibility)

      (forms of) poder
      anything can happen now ahora puede pasar cualquier cosa
      • what can she be doing in there? ¿qué estará haciendo ahí?
      • it can't be true! ¡no puede ser!
      • she can't have finished already no puede haber terminado ya
      • he can't be her husband no puede ser su marido

    • 5.2(indicating characteristic)

      you can be really stubborn a veces eres realmente terco
      • she can be charming when she wants to es encantadora cuando quiere / cuando se lo propone
      • learning the piano can be fun aprender a tocar el piano puede ser divertido
      • she's as happy as can be está de lo más contenta
      • Scotland have got some really useful forwards who can pose a threat to any side.
      • Even November in Florida could be hot, and that day was no exception.
      • Make sure that the hole you put it into is wet as those little roots can dry out very fast.
      • Previous research has already indicated that vitamin C can do harm as well as good.
      • Inscriptions in public places can also indicate the social status of the artist.
      • Just as easily as she could be annoying, she could turn around and be cute the next second.
      • I think some knowledge can be highly destructive, and all too often in this game, it is.
      • When group thinking manifests itself in the form of group knowledge, then it can be a good thing.
      • In the early days after the birth, it can be useful to set aside some time to rest when the baby sleeps.
      • A rugby career only lasts so long, but friends you make can be useful in later life.
      • In just six weeks he has learned that the internet can be an extremely useful tool for research.
      • A little adrenaline can be useful but stress is generally not healthy or helpful.


When can means to be capable of or to be allowed to, it is translated by poder:he can't eat no puede comer; can you come out tonight? ¿puedes salir esta noche? When can means to know how to, it is translated by saber:can you swim? ¿sabes nadar?; she can already read and write ya sabe leer y escribir. When can is used with a verb of perception such as see, hear, or feel, it is often not translated: can you see her from here? ¿la ves desde aquí?; she couldn't feel anything no sentía nada.

There are 2 main translations of can in Spanish

: can1can2


lata, n.

Pronunciation /kan//kæn/


  • 1

    • 1.1(container)

      lata feminine
      bote masculine Spain
      tarro masculine Chile
      a can of tomatoes un bote de tomates Spain
      • a can of beer una lata de cerveza
      • a 4 gallon gasoline can un bidón de gasolina de 4 galones
      • The burglars made off with two 20-litre petrol cans and a welding machine.
      • The number of paint cans was unbelievable, and there were many different chemical compounds from oven cleaner to fertilizers, all free for the taking.
      • The emphasis on cans and metal containers has allowed the company to focus on more than just its information and manufacturing systems.
      • For example, one may think that recycling metal cans is important, but not recycle them because it takes too much time.
      • Use old coffee cans for storing paint brushes and crayons.
      • Cut open the loops on plastic binding which holds beer and soft drinks cans together so wildlife cannot get tangled up in them
      • Their prime customer, a manufacturer of metal cans, was delighted.
      • Aluminum foil, beer and soft drink cans, paint tubes, and containers for home products are all made of aluminum alloys.
      • Each student needs two metal cans with lids (a 5-gallon can and l-gallon can).
      • Similarly, beer and soft drink cans, booze bottles and empty jars can all be recycled.
      • Mix them together and pour the paint back into the cans.
      • A bottle bank for all types of glass and a can bank for food tins and aluminium drink cans is situated beside the Industrial Units on Church Road.
      • All kinds of plastic packaging, metal cans, and other rubbish entangle and strangle sea turtles, sea birds, sea lions and fish.
      • Recycling centre users are reminded that the facility is only to be used for glass and aluminium drink cans.
      • There are many recycling sites on supermarket car parks where you can recycle paper, steel cans, aluminium cans, clothes, and glass.
      • Plans are finalised, paint cans and brushes lined up, and the cheerful clatter of harmless domestic activities continues.
      • Householders will not be expected to sort their aluminium and steel cans or different colours of glass.
      • Glass bottles and jars and aluminium drink cans should not be sent to landfill.
      • We could not afford to attend the local gyms, so we worked out in a garage with anything we could use as free weights, such as paint cans.
      • All facilities consist of four banks where the public can deposit glass bottles and jars as well as aluminium drink cans for recycling.
      • On the safety side of the issue, rust damage could occur to the bottoms of stored metal containers such as cans of thinner and other combustible fluids.
      • There was a small crowd at the gate, with metal cans, who had come to collect milk.
      • The waste matter for the blue bin includes papers, magazines, cardboard, food tins, aluminium drink cans, milk cartons and plastic bottles.
      • Beer bottles, soft drink cans, confetti, paper, food and other unmentionables coated the floor in a thick layer of debris.
      • This bag will take clean cardboard, drink cans, food cans, tetra pak, plastic bottles, newspapers, magazines and other paper.
      • It's not like a screwdriver, which you at least can use to pry a paint can open.
      • The relocating of the Bring Centre seems to have had the desired effect as much greater use is now being made of the containers to dispose of drink and food cans and clear brown and green glass.
      • Epoxy-based coatings are frequently used as internal lacquer coatings of cans and storage vessels in the food industry.
      • In the close confines, she tripped over some paint cans.
      • Each eligible household is given a black box to put in newspapers, magazines, glass bottles, steel and aluminium cans, textiles and foil to be recycled.
      • The litter, plastic bags, food wrappers and cold drink and beer cans in front of the post office are still there.
      • The company, which has had to ship coffee in retro metal cans, is now telling retailers supplies will be back to normal by early December.
      • Green, clear and brown glass, steel food cans and aluminium cans may be recycled at this venue.
      • Empty bottles, cans and food containers are just chucked in the bushes and along the pavements, and while Belle Vue Gardens are being revamped the litter is thrown in there.
      • Organic soups come in all different packaging - steel cans, aseptic cartons, glass jars and dried-soup cups.
      • He looked at the two of them, then looked at all the metal cans on the floor of the opposite side of the room, as well as the burn marks along the wall.
      • Mr Hyndman showed the Bowles family that as well as paper, plastic, glass, metal cans and organic waste could also be recycled.
      • It is made entirely of aluminum beer and soda cans, their labels badly bleached over the years by the intense Texas sun.
      • Because the oil-based paint comes in small cans and dries quickly, he can't mix or blend large amounts.
      • Rusty paint cans and twisted pieces of metal crunched underfoot as I carefully ran the rope over top of the junk and around the side of a huge misshapen refrigerator.

    • 1.2US (for garbage)

      cubo de la basura masculine
      tacho de la basura masculine Southern Cone
      bote de la basura masculine Mexico
      caneca de la basura feminine Colombia
      tobo de la basura masculine Venezuela

    • 1.3Cinema
      (for film)

      lata feminine

  • 2

    • 2.1US slang (prison)

      cárcel feminine
      trullo masculine Spain slang
      cana feminine South America slang
      gayola feminine River Plate slang
      bote masculine Mexico Venezuela slang
      porotera feminine Chile slang
      to be in the can estar a la sombra informal
      • I felt badly about not telling her about the stretch of time I spent in the can, but she was probably better off not knowing.
      • While he may not have a violent crime on record, he's spent plenty of time in the can for other offenses.
      • I do hope that she straightens out, but her actions merit real charges, and time in the can.
      • Monty appears to have changed, but what will he be like after seven years in the can?
      • Robert faces a year in the can for drug money laundering despite claiming that he never realized his cousin was a drug-dealer.

    • 2.2US slang (toilet)

      trono masculine informal

    • 2.3US slang (buttocks)

      culo masculine vulgar slang informal
      trasero masculine informal

transitive verbcanned, canning

  • 1

    • 1.1(put in cans)

      • Eat dried fruits or those that are canned in their own juices.
      • Sometimes when I'd drive by late at night, I'd see him up canning tomatoes or making everyone's lunch for the next day.
      • Some food companies now are canning vegetables with no salt added.
      • Gooseberries make delicious pies, jams and jellies as well as chutneys, sauces, fruit vinegars and wine, and can be preserved easily by canning or freezing.
      • Often, coho are either sold frozen or canned by commercial fisherman.
      • By the 1880s canned foods had an important place in popular diet.
      • Disregarding the value of your labor, canning homegrown food may save you half the cost of buying commercially canned food.
      • While canning vegetables and making fishcakes may be regarded as industrial processes there are many processes that may not be treated as industrial.
      • Although fresh tuna is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, when tuna is canned the levels of these fats are reduced to a much lower level.
      • The fruit is to be canned in chunks, slices, titbits and juice.
      • Corn, tomatoes, and green beans could all be easily canned as could sweet potatoes when packed in syrup.
      • You can preserve your sauce by canning it in sterilized pint jars in a hot water bath for 35 minutes.
      • The meat is usually canned and sold in supermarkets.
      • Picked while young and tender, and canned in pint or quart jars depending on the size of the family, lima beans will be the piece de resistance of your winter stores.
      • The Oneida Cannery helps members preserve food by canning, drying, pickling or cooking traditional foods for special meals or celebrations.
      • Some low-sugar and low-salt foods may be easily and safely canned at home.
      • After ripening, pears should be canned or preserved.
      • Excess berries, should you ever reach that point, can be frozen, canned or made into jam.
      • High acid foods such as fruit should be canned in a hot water bath.

    • 1.2US (bottle)

      (fruit) preparar conservas de

  • 2

    • 2.1US informal (dismiss)

      echar informal
      correr informal
      • Mr Boman said although the June quarter was traditionally slower than the March quarter, the sales slowdown could result in some projects being canned.
      • Needless to say he was canned along with his boss and dismissed from government work
      • A $3.5-million cleanup project was canned in May 2000 for feasibility problems.
      • A county wastewater employee says he was canned for speaking out against a private company.
      • I watched a district and regional manager fire an employee for a more than acceptable reason, and end up getting canned themselves when the employee sued for wrongful termination.
      • Some three dozen instances have been documented of companies canning employees for what they write in blogs, including a case in Massachusetts.
      • However, six months after commencement of my portion of the project, my industry sponsors canned their end of the deal.
      • Thomson does not know why he was canned from the company but he was growing increasingly dissatisfied with Price's management style, and should have just left on his own accord.

    • 2.2US informal (stop)

      can it! ¡basta ya!