Some Similar Mandarin Words

This year I’m trying to start learning Mandarin Chinese. Here are some confusingly similar words I’ve come across.

认识 and 知道

The difference is between knowing a person, 认识 (rènshí) and knowing a fact, 知道 (zhīdào).

正在 and 现在

Both roughly mean “now” but 正在 (zhèngzài) means currently or in general and 现在 (xiànzài) means literally right at this moment.

可以 and 可能

可以 (kěyǐ) is used when you’re willing and able to do something. 可能 (kěnéng) is if there’s a possibility of something happening.

Thanks to Elva for lending her Mandarin expertise.

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