Difference between can and may

difference between can and mayDifference between can and may

There is a big difference between can and may. The word can is used to denote someone’s ability, whereas the word may is used to denote permission.

The following examples will make the usage clear.

 

Can May
Q- Can you swim? (do you know how to swim?)

A-Yes, I can swim (yes, i know. I am able to swim.)

Q-May I swim? (seeking permission)

A-yes, you may. (permission grated)

I can run at the speed 60km/hour. (you are able to run at the speed of 60km/hour) You may not run in the forest. ( you are not allowed to run in the forest.
I can eat 12 eggs. ( you are able to consume 12 eggs) You may not eat more than two eggs.(you are not eat more than two eggs.)
I can’t go away from her. You may not go to meet your friends at this hour.

 

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