Differenza tra Can e May

Can esprime abilità.

  • I can swim.
  • She can sing.
  • He can win.
  • He can draw.

May è invece usato per chiedere o dare un permesso.

  • May I go to the pictures after lunch, mother?
  • May I come in, teacher?

Exercise
Write each sentence using the correct word from the brackets.

1. ————- you speak Arabic? (May / Can)
2. ————— I ask you something? (May / Can)
3.————- you come here and help me? (May / Can)
4. You ———— go now if you want to. (May / Can)

Answers
1. Can (Ability) 2. May (Permission) 3. Can (Ability) 4. May (Permission)

In informal English, can and could are also used to ask for and give permission, but may and might are not used to express ability.

  • You may go now. OR You can go now.
  • Can I come in? OR May I come in?

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