It is important to know when to use the words you learn in the right situation when learning a language.
When translating from a language into Chinese, different word choices will often have more than one meaning.
The word “can” is an example of this. When we use “can” as an auxiliary verb, we should know that this word has many meanings in Mandarin Chinese.
Therefore, it is important to know what context and situation we are going to use the Chinese word.
THE THREE MODAL VERBS HUÌ 会, NÉNG 能 AND KĚYǏ 可以
The three modal verbs huì 会, néng 能 and kěyǐ 可以 are often translated as “can”. Sometimes they are explained as such: huì 会 means “know how to”, néng 能 means “to be able to”, and kěyǐ 可以 means “to have permission to.”
However, the use of these words in Mandarin Chinese overlaps somewhat. We will now explain in more detail how to use them properly.
The words huì 会, néng 能 and kěyǐ 可以 sometimes overlap in meaning.
However, you can divide their use into 3 categories:
1. huì 会 can mean “to know how to”, expressing an action you have learned.
2. néng 能 can mean “to be able”, which describes having a special ability.
3. kěyǐ 可以 can mean “to be allowed”, and expresses having another person’s permission.
When do these words overlap in the way you use them?
Ability in the sense of “knowing how”. Here you can use both huì 会 and néng 能.
Permission. Here you can use néng 能 or kěyǐ 可以.
Note that when permission is not granted, you say bù kěyǐ 不可以.
Both huì 会 and néng 能 can express the ability to do something.
huì 会 ／ néng能 + Verb
Wǒ huì kāi chē.
I can drive.
Wǒ huì shuō Zhōngwén.
I can speak Chinese.
kěyǐ 可以 / néng 能 + Verb
A: Jīnglǐ, wǒ kěyǐ wǎn diǎn shàngbān ma?
A: 经理, 我可以晚点上班吗?
A: Manager, can I start working a little later?
B: That’s fine.
A: Wǒ néng hē jiǔ ma?
A: Can I drink alcohol?
B: Bù néng.
B: (You) can not (do it).
Néng 能 and kěyǐ 可以 can also express possibility.
kěyǐ 可以 / néng 能 + Verb
Wǒmen néng bù néng qù lǚyóu?
Can we go travelling?
Míngtiān wǒmen kě bù kěyǐ zài jiā kàn diànyǐng?
Can we stay home and watch a movie tomorrow?
TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE
Huì 会 can also mean that something is going to happen.
huì 会 + Verb / Adj.
Xià zhōu wǒ huì chūchāi.
I’m going on a business trip next week.
Wǒ huì qù Hángzhōu lǚyóu.
I’m going to travel to Hangzhou.#
By placing hěn 很 in front of huì 会, we emphasize the ability and skill of the action presented. Hěn huì 很 会 means that you are very good at doing something.
hěn 很 + huì 会 ／ néng 能 + Verb
If you say hěn néng shuō 很 能 说 means that someone speaks a lot, while hěn huì shuō 很 会 说 means that someone is good at expressing themselves in spoken language.
I’m going to change.
He’s really good at singing.
Tā hěn néng shuō.
She really talks a lot.
8 CHINESE SKILLS WILL HELP YOU GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE BUSINESS CLIMATE IN CHINA AND NEW IDEAS
If you want to do business in China and Chinese communities, it’s essential to have at least some basic Chinese skills. This will help you better understand the business climate in China and new ideas. Even if you’re not planning on doing business in China, learning Chinese can still be beneficial. It can help you understand Chinese culture and history better, and it can also be a valuable skill to have in general.
China is also the fastest-growing consumer market, so communicating with and understanding how Chinese consumers act is a huge plus.
It’s important to remember that business is done differently in different countries. Many ways of doing business in other countries are not necessarily better or worse than how you do business. They are just different.
If you learn Chinese for business, you will learn more about how the Chinese economy works and how Chinese people do business. Some ways to run a business may seem strange but can be surprisingly profitable.
They can also help you develop new ideas by showing how other cultures and markets do things well.
China is one of the countries whose economy is growing the fastest. Many new technologies, trends, skills, and ways of doing business are used. Understanding the Chinese economy and business trends will also teach you how business is done worldwide.
BUSINESS CHINESE COURSES AT LC CHINESE SCHOOL
The benefits of learning Chinese for business are immense. Imagine knowing the language of one of the biggest economies in the world. You’ll be well on your way to understanding its business culture and building meaningful connections with Chinese-speaking people. Speaking Chinese fluently will take some time, effort, and patience. However, it is one of the most significant investments you can make in your career.
At LC Chinese School, you’ll find a supportive environment to help you learn Chinese, whether you’re just starting to learn a new language or are already well on your way to speaking it fluently.
We have classes tailored to each student’s goals so that you can spend your time working with the Chinese language more efficiently. You can take Business Chinese classes to move up in your career. These courses can be made for groups or one-on-one programs tailored to your industry’s needs.
We also have beginner classes where the focus is on pronunciation, the tonal system, and pinyin, not the Chinese characters so that you can save time and learn more quickly.
Our trainers are skilled and can teach courses like intensive boot camps, classes that focus on business and corporate-speak, small group classes, and one-on-one tutoring in a casual setting.
Your business Chinese will improve quickly if you learn from professional schools and teachers with a lot of experience. Business Chinese is an area where LC Chinese School has done a lot of good work. We have helped people from all over the world who work in China, especially with our Business Chinese courses.
Online Chinese courses make Chinese language learning easier for you as a business person because you don’t have to worry about where you’ll learn or how you’ll fit it into your busy schedules.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE MANDARIN CHINESE OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO?
We offer private lessons and group classes at all levels, HSK 1-6, children, adults, business. All Mandarin Chinese classes are offered in classrooms or online.
Do you know anyone who wants to learn Chinese? We will give you 500 US dollars as a bonus as a part of our program “Refer a friend – get $ 500” if your friend or others you introduce to us start taking Chinese classes at our school. Register here if this is interesting for you!