The difference bettwen 會/能/可以

One of the more complicated things for learners of Chinese is knowing when to use 會/能/可以.  In English, they can all roughly be translated as “can” but the use in Chinese is a bit more complicated.  I happened to come across this Euler diagram from the sinosplice blog. I think it goes a good job explaining the differences.

A = ability in the sense of “know how to” (“会” is more common than “能“)
B = permission/request (use “能” or “可以“)
C = possibility (use “能” or “可以“)
D = permission not granted (use “不可以“)
E = impossibility (use “不能“)

This entry was posted in 中文. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s