10 Idiomatic Expressions with the modal verb “can't”


1. can't wait – to be excited about something
Ex: I can't wait to see my friends next week. It’s going to be wonderful.

2. can't stand – to strongly dislike something
Ex: I can't stand the traffic in London.

3. can't bear – to strongly dislike something because it makes you unhappy
Ex: She can't bear to be away from her family longer than a week.

4. can't take it – cannot tolerate something
Ex: I can't take his constant shouting anymore. I have to leave.

5. can't be bothered – to have no interest in something
Ex: I know I should got for a run but I can't be bothered tonight.

6. can't take my eyes off her/him – to be attracted to someone
Ex: Simon can't seem to take his eyes off the new Marketing assistant.

7. can't win – life is difficult
Ex: Sometimes no matter what you do in life, you can't win.

8. can't help it – to have no control over something
Ex: I can't help it, I find chocolate digestives irresistible!

9. can't think straight – cannot concentrate
Ex: I am so tired that I can't think straight.

10. can't hear myself think – cannot concentrate
Ex: There is so much noise here that I can't hear myself think.

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