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be able to do something - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



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  1. 1
    used for saying that it is possible for someone to do something. Forms such as have been able to and will be able to are sometimes considered as tenses of the verb can

    I haven’t been able to get any more information.

  2. 3
    to succeed in doing something on a particular occasion

    As far as I have been able to find out, he has no criminal convictions.

  3. 4
    to have enough money, time, or freedom to do something

    They’re able to buy whatever they want.

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to come.

See also main entry: able
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a description of an economic or political situation based on analysis of information at the present time

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an unregulated form of capitalism that features financial deregulation, privatisation and low tax for high earners

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