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ChineseEdit

 
can; may; able to; certain(ly); to suit; (particle used for emphasis)
 
ability; can; may; capable; energy; able
simp. and trad.
(可能)

EtymologyEdit

Attested in Old Chinese; original meanings were “to be able to, competent”, “can be achieved, possible”.

PronunciationEdit


Note: ko2 lêng5 - Chaozhou.

Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1 2/4
Initial () (29) (8)
Final () (94) (129)
Tone (調) Rising (X) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open Open
Division () I I
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Pan
Wuyun
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Shao
Rongfen
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/kʰaX/ /nəŋ/
Li
Rong
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Wang
Li
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Bernard
Karlgren
/kʰɑX/ /nəŋ/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
néng
Baxter-Sagart system 1.1 (2014)
Character
Reading # 1/1 3/3
Modern
Beijing
(Pinyin)
néng
Middle
Chinese
‹ khaX › ‹ nong ›
Old
Chinese
/*[k]ʰˤa[j]ʔ/ /*nˤə(ʔ)/ (~ *nˤəŋ)
English may; acceptable able; ability

Notes for Old Chinese notations in the Baxter-Sagart system:

* Parentheses "()" indicate uncertain presence;
* Square brackets "[]" indicate uncertain identity, e.g. *[t] as coda may in fact be *-t or *-p;
* Angle brackets "<>" indicate infix;
* Hyphen "-" indicates morpheme boundary;

* Period "." indicates syllable boundary.
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1 3/4
No. 7446 9415
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
1 0
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*kʰaːlʔ/ /*nɯːŋ/

AdjectiveEdit

可能

  1. possible; probable; likely

Usage notesEdit

Chinese does not have different words for possible and probable in the way that English does. To express the sense that something is probable - i.e. likely to happen, as opposed to just being a possibility among others - consider adding (hěn) before 可能 or 有可能 (yǒukěnéng).

AdverbEdit

可能

  1. maybe; perhaps; probably; might, may
    可能 / 可能  ―  Kěnéng wǒ huì qù.  ―  Perhaps I will go.
    可能開除 / 可能开除  ―  kěnéng bèi kāichú le.  ―  He may have been fired.

SynonymsEdit

NounEdit

可能

  1. possibility; probability (Classifier: )
    什麼發生可能 [MSC, trad.]
    什么发生可能 [MSC, simp.]
    Shénme shì dōu yǒu fāshēng de kěnéng. [Pinyin]
    Anything has a possibility of happening.

VerbEdit

可能

  1. (literary) to be competent to; to have the ability to
    其他可能 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
    其他可能 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
    From: The Analects of Confucius, circa 475 – 221 BCE, translated based on James Legge's translation
    Mèng Zhuāng zǐ zhī xiào yě, qítā kěnéng yě. [Pinyin]
    The filial piety of Meng Zhuang, in other matters, was what other men are competent to.
  2. (literary) can be achieved; to be possible
    可能 [Classical Chinese, trad.]
    可能 [Classical Chinese, simp.]
    From: The Book of Rites, circa 4th – 2nd century BCE
    Yǎng, kěnéng yě, jìng wéi nán. [Pinyin]
    One may be able to support them; the difficulty is in doing so with the proper reverence.

Derived termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

Sino-Xenic (可能):

JapaneseEdit

Kanji in this term

Grade: 5
のう
Grade: 5
on'yomi

EtymologyEdit

From Middle Chinese compound 可能 (khaX nong, literally may, can + able, ability).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

可能 (-na inflection, hiragana かのう, rōmaji kanō)

  1. possible
  2. feasible

InflectionEdit

Derived termsEdit

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

(possible):

NounEdit

可能 (hiragana かのう, rōmaji kanō)

  1. possibility, good chance
    可能 (かのう)
    kanō no
    possible
  2. feasibility

AntonymsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, ISBN 4-385-13905-9
  • 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  • 2002, Ineko Kondō; Fumi Takano; Mary E Althaus; et. al., Shogakukan Progressive Japanese-English Dictionary, Third Edition, Tokyo: Shōgakukan, ISBN 4095102535.

KoreanEdit

Hanja in this term

NounEdit

可能 (ganeung) (hangeul 가능)

  1. Hanja form? of 가능, “possibility”.

VietnameseEdit

Hán tự in this word

NounEdit

可能

  1. Hán tự form of khả năng, “ability; capability; competence”