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).
|nǐ rènshí tā mā||nǐ zhīdào wǒ hěn kù mā|
|Do you know her?||Do you know I'm cool?|
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.
|wǒ zhèngzài xuéxí zhōngwén||wǒ xiànzài chīfàn|
|I'm learning Chinese.||I'm eating (now).|
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.
|wǒ jīnwǎn kěyǐ kàn diànyǐng||wǒ kěnéng huì qù kàn diànyǐng|
|I can see a movie tonight.||I might go see a movie.|
Thanks to Elva for lending her Mandarin expertise.