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It depends on whether the motor is a pure induction motor or a permanent-magnet motor. Induction motors need to be primed with magnetic fields, which is difficult. But a permanent-magnet motor, whether DC, single phase AC, or three-phase AC (delta or wye), can be used as a generator in any situation.
You can tell betwen induction motors and permanent-magnet motors either by opening the case (permanent-magnet motors use both permanent magnets and coils of wire, while pure induction motors have coils for both the rotor and the stator) or by using a compass (the reading will be affected if it is near a permanent-magnet motor). If the motor is labeled "brushless AC" then you know it is a permanent magnet motor.