May vs. Can

May has two different meanings:

1.  Permission

Ex: My manager replied to my email with a terse refusal: “You may not take this afternoon off. Sorry.”

2. Possibility.

Ex: According to the forecast, it may rain tonight.

Can denotes the ability to do something, as these examples illustrate.

Ex: Camels can go great distances without water.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: