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can vs may

->Traditionally can is used to show:
-ability
->An English person who can speak even one other language fluently is rare.
-possibility
Relapse can occur at any time.

->May is normally used to show:
– permission
Candidates may enter for both examinations, if desired.
– possibility
->It may cause pain, but often there are no symptoms.

->Today can is increasingly used to show permission:
Mum, can I leave it?
Using can in this way is accepted as standard English, although many people still use may in more formal situations.

 

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