People are often uncertain about whether there is any difference between can and may when these verbs are used to ask for or .

当动词can和may用来表达请求或授予许可时,人们常常不确定这两个词是否存在不同。

看看下面两个例子是否有不同:

Can I ask you a few questions?

May I ask you a few questions?

Can常用于与能力或技能相关的疑问句中,如:

Can she swim?
她会游泳吗?

Can you speak Italian?
你能说意大利语吗?

May可以表示推测,意为“也许,可能”.如:

She may be at home. Let’s go to see her.
她可能在家,我们去看看她吧。

用作请求时:

The difference between the two verbs is that one is more polite than the other. In contexts it’s perfectly acceptable to use can; in formal situations it would be better to use may.

这两个词语的区别就是一个词语(may)比另一个(can)更为礼貌。在非正式的场合使用can是完全可以被接受的,在正式场合则使用may更为合适。

因此,上面两个句子都是正确的,只是使用may会更正式和礼貌一些。

小测验:选择正确的词语

1.____I use your eraser?

can may

2.____you play the piano?

can may

答案:Can/May(更正式);Can