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What is the difference between 可以 and 能? Or can I use any of them?

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I forgot to add 会!

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    可以 means "can" or "may".

    "can" in the sense of being able to do something.
    "may" in the sense of being allowed to do something.

    In English we often use "can" instead of "may".

    For example, if a boy asks the teacher "Can I go to toilet?", the teacher may ask "I don't know, can you?" [meaning can he physically do it]. Really the boy should ask "May I...?".

    能 has the meaning of "can" too.

    会 means "can" but we use it with things that we have the skill to do.

    For example, I can [speak Chinese / play chess / do kung fu / etc.]

    Do you have more concrete example about 可以and能?

    They both mean can, be able to do something. For example:
    我能吃下3个苹果。我可以吃下3个苹果。

    But 可以 has more meanings. For example, it can mean be permitted to do something.
    我已经18岁了,我可以看各种限制级的电影。
    I am over 18, so I am permitted to watch restricted movies.

     

    会 : 1、skills eg : 我会写汉字。
    2、possible eg : 明天会下雨吗?
    3、will eg : 我明天会去北京。

    能:1、restrict eg : 你不能这么做。
    2、capability eg: 他能说很多国家的语言。

    可以: 1、suggestion eg: 你可以和朋友一起解决这个问题。
    2、allow eg: 我可以用你的笔吗?

     

    a)‘能’表示具备某种能力或达到某种效率,‘会’表示学得某种本领。初次学会某种动作用‘会’,恢复某种能力用‘能’,如小弟弟会走路了│他病好了,能下床了。具备某种技能可以用‘能’,也可以用‘会’,如:能写会算。达到某种效率,用‘能’,不用‘会’,如:她一分钟能打一百五十字。b)名词前面文言可以用‘能’,白话只用‘会’,如:能诗善画│会英文│会象棋。c)跟‘不…不’组成双重否定,‘不能不’表示必须,‘不会不’表示一定,如:你不能不来啊!│他不会不来的。在疑问或揣测的句子里都表示可能,如:他不能(会)不答应吧?d)对于尚未实现的自然现象的推测,用‘能(够)’,不用‘可(以)’,如:这雨能下长么?e)用在跟某些动词结合表示被动的可能性时,用‘可’,不用‘能’,如:我们是不可战胜的

    (from 现代汉语词典, the most authoritative dictionary on modern Chinese)

    I agree with Matt, here I will give you some instance follow Matt's answer:
    会means have the skills of doing something thought studies, 能and 会 means be able to do something
    我可以 /能问你个问题吗?In this sentence, 可以 and 能 means be allowed to do something
    我可以/能理解你说的话。Here, 能 and 可以 means be able to do something. without study , so you can't use 会 in this sentence
    如果你走了,我会很难过的。 if you go away, i will be sad. Something will happen in the specific context.

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