Definitions & Differences Between Can and Will

Can is one of the most commonly used capital Verbs in English. Can is used to express abilities or opportunities, requests or offers for permits, and to show possibilities or impossibilities.


  • I can ride a horse. (Ability)
  • We can stay with my daughter when we are in Bandung. (Chance)
  • She cannot stay out after 9 PM. (Permission)
  • Can you hand me the stapler? (Request)
  • Any child can grow up to be president. (Possibility)

Whereas, Will is used to express willingness. Willingness can be expressed in conditional sentence type 1 or invitation (invitation / invitation). Would also be used to express willingness, but more polite (polite). In addition to expressing willingness, will and would also be used to discuss possibilities or make predictions.


  • I will help you if you help yourself first.
  • I’ll give you a glass of water.
source: google

Differences between Can and Will

There are many vocabularies or vocabularies used in English. each vocabulary has its own use. But there are times when there are words that have the same meaning but their use can be very different from one another. Therefore, it is important for us to know these differences so that we can use English properly and correctly in English conversation (conversation).

On this occasion, the author will convey two-word differences that often make many English students. The words in question are the words can and will. These two words have similarities in terms of meaning but also have some differences that we must understand in order to use them in accordance with English grammar. Well, what are the differences in can and will in English? The following explanation.

1. The Meaning of Different Words

The first difference from the words can and will is that the meanings of these two words are very different. The word can has the meaning can or can (a closed metal container that is usually shaped like a cylinder and that holds food or drink, Merriam Webster), while the word will has the meaning of the word will or want. The difference in the meaning of this word will later be very influential on the differences that will then discuss the author.

2. Different Usage Contexts

The words can and will also have differences in their use. In general, we can conclude that the word can ’indicates whether or not there is an ability regarding an ability (ability). On the other hand, the word ‘will’ states about the willingness to do something (willingness). Ability means that we have abilities, whereas willingness means we want or don’t want to do something.

3. Differences in the level of motivation

Reporting from the Productive Flourishing site, when we want to use the word ‘can’, we only say about our potential or ability, whereas when talking about motivation, the word ‘can’ is a pretty weak word to describe our motivation for something. Therefore, when we want to express motivation, we should not use the word ‘can’.

Meanwhile, the word ‘will’ is the right word to describe our potential to do something while showing a commitment that we will do something in the future. There is no word ‘maybe’, ‘might’, or the word ‘I am thinking about it’ when the word will has been used in the statement.

4. Use of Different Tenses The last difference from the words can and will that the last author discussed on this occasion was the use of different tenses. The word can is commonly used in tenses in the form of present tense. On the other hand, the word will is commonly found in future tense or conditional sentences whose scope of time is the future.

by Zhalfania Aulia R

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