Grammar Lesson K [B2-]


Patients may not comply with treatment because they:

  • cannot get the treatment (e.g. out of stock or high cost)
  • are not able to get to the therapist, doctor or pharmacy (e.g. mobility or transportation problems, no home delivery or home visit)
  • cannot open the medication (e.g. arthritis, weakness or pain)
  • do not understand how to take the medication (e.g. regimen is complicated)
  • forget (e.g. dementia)
  • are unwilling to comply with therapy for some reason (e.g. side effects or discomfort)
  • have emotional issues (e.g. social anxiety or depression)

We can ask if they are

  • able to do things:
  • Are you able to (+ verb infinitive)…?
  • Can you (+ verb infinitive)…?
  • Can you manage to + verb infinitive OR Can you manage +verb-ing)…?
  • Do you have access to…?

  • willing to do things:
  • Are you willing to + verb (= be ready to do or try something)
  • Would you mind +verb-ing (= Would it be a problem for you to…?)
  • Could you + verb…?

  • still doing things:
  • Are you still + verb-ing …? (NOTE: here, the –ing form is the present progressive tense. The –ing form of verbs has many different uses!)
  •     Are you still taking your medication?
  •     Are you still doing physiotherapy?
  • How have you been managing (+ thing)…?
  • How have you been managing with the medication?
  • How have you been managing with meals?
  • How’ve you been coping with (+ thing OR +verb-ing)
  • How’ve you been coping with the medication?
  • How’ve you been coping with meals?


Willing or Able?

Instructions: Does the sentence or question indicate the subject if able, unable, willing or unwilling to do the task?


be able to = can -> physically able to do something

willing -> want to do something 

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