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In a sentence like this,

他遇到了一个好朋友, 可带他去很多酒吧

does the 可 mean the new friend “can” bring him to the bar, or that he is “willing to”?

I’ve always thought of 可 as just “can” or “able to”, but I saw on Pleco that it could be used as an auxiliary to mean “be willing to; be ready to”.

The examples given include 可干 and 可虚心接受意见.

Maybe it always means “willing to” in front of a verb, and you’d use 可以 when you want to say “can”?

  • 他遇到了一个好朋友, 可带他去很多酒吧 isn't a good sentence. where did you see the sentence? – dan Jun 22 at 22:36
  • Ah, sorry. I saw a similarly structured sentence in a webnovel synopsis, but didn’t want to copy it, so tweaked it instead. The main point is that he met a person that can take him through to another world. I couldn’t think of a different scenario where the same structure might be used, hence the bad sentence. Please excuse it. (._.;) – SpringSpear Jun 23 at 1:33
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可虚心接受意见 literally mean "can/ able to humbly accept suggestions"

If you can accept suggestions, it also implies you are willing to accept suggestions (most people can't accept suggestions = unwilling to accept suggestions)

可带他去很多酒吧 should be translated as 'able to take him to many bars'

For 可 to suggest 'willing', the sentence must state something the subject might be unwilling to do

Example:

這孩子刻苦練功 (This child can practice hard) meaning 這孩子 (willing to) 刻苦練功 (most people can't practice hard = unwilling to practice hard)

it is better to replace 可 (can/ able/ willing to) with the more specific 肯 for "willing"

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他遇到了一个好朋友, 可带他去很多酒吧 isn't an idiomatic sentence.

I will understand it as he might take him to many bars. 可 in the context means 可以 or 可能,may or can.

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