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can1

can1

pronunciation:
kaen
features:
Language Note
part of speech: auxiliary verb
inflections: can, could
definition 1: to be able to; have the ability to.
She can play the piano.
similar words:
know
definition 2: to have the power or right to.
Only the boss can hire and fire employees.
definition 3: to have permission to.
Can I borrow your umbrella?
Language Note
Nowadays, it is very common to use can with the meaning of "to have permission to do something," but some people feel that only may should be used for that meaning. They feel that can should only be used to describe ability to do something. When people accept the use of both can and may for the meaning of permission, they agree that may sounds more formal than can.