Below are the formal and polite equivalents (synonyms) of 'can' which you can use in your business or professional pieces of writing.

'Can' has a number of different meanings. It can be used to talk about ability, when you offer to do something, when you ask permission to do something or when you ask/request somebody to do something. Below there is one or more synonyms which you can use for each of these meanings.

Be able to

This is used when you want to talk about abilities. It can also be used in the past (like 'could') to talk about abilities.

'We are able to attened next week's meeting.'

'After extensive investiagations, we were able to identify the cause of the issue.

Be willing to

This is used when you offer to do something which another person has asked you to do.

'We are willing to change the location of the meeting to a place which is easier for you to attend.'


Although 'could' is used as the past form of 'can', it is also used as a polite form of 'can' when asking permission to do something or when asking people to do things.

'Could I meet with you later this week to talk about this issue?'

'Could you please complete the attached form and send it back to us as soon as you can.'

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