Can vs You - What's the difference?

can | you |

As a noun can

is song.

As a verb can

is (lb).



(wikipedia can)

Etymology 1

From (etyl) (m) (first and third person singular of , Danish (m). More at canny, cunning.


  • To know how to; to be able to.
  • * {{quote-magazine, year=2013, month=July-August, author= Lee S. Langston, magazine=(American Scientist)
  • , title= The Adaptable Gas Turbine , passage=Turbines have been around for a long time—windmills and water wheels are early examples. The name comes from the Latin turbo'', meaning ''vortex , and thus the defining property of a turbine is that a fluid or gas turns the blades of a rotor, which is attached to a shaft that can perform useful work.}}
  • May; to be permitted or enabled to.
  • To be possible, usually with be .
  • * {{quote-book, year=1922, author=(Ben Travers)
  • , chapter=5, title= A Cuckoo in the Nest , passage=The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite.
  • To know.
  • * ca.1360-1387 , (William Langland), (Piers Plowman)
  • I can rimes of Robin Hood.
  • * ca.1360-1387 , (William Langland), (Piers Plowman)
  • I can no Latin, quod she.
  • * (William Shakespeare) (1564-1616)
  • Let the priest in surplice white, / That defunctive music can .
    Usage notes
    * For missing forms, substitute inflected forms of be able to , as: ** I might be able to go. ** I was able to go yesterday. ** I have been able to go, since I was seven. ** I had been able to go before. ** I will be able to go tomorrow. * The word could also suffices in many tenses. "I would be able to go" is equivalent to "I could go", and "I was unable to go" can be rendered "I could not go". (Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, "could verb''" means "would be able to ''verb''", but "could not ''verb''" means "was/were unable to ''verb ".) * The present tense negative can not'' is often contracted to ''cannot'' or ''can't . * The use of can'' in asking permission sometimes is criticized as being impolite or incorrect by those who favour the more formal alternative ''"may I...?" . * Can'' is sometimes used rhetorically to issue a command, placing the command in the form of a request. For instance, ''"Can you hand me that pen?"'' as a polite substitution for ''"Hand me that pen." * Some US dialects that glottalize the final /t/ in can't'' ( even when stressed.
    * be able to * may
    * cannot * can’t
    See also

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl) canne, from (etyl) .


    (en noun)
  • A more or less cylindrical vessel for liquids, usually of steel or aluminium.
  • A container used to carry and dispense water for plants (a watering can ).
  • A tin-plate canister, often cylindrical, for preserved foods such as fruit, meat, or fish.
  • (US, slang) toilet, bathroom.
  • (US, slang) buttocks.
  • (slang) jail or prison.
  • (slang) headphones.
  • (obsolete) A drinking cup.
  • (Shakespeare)
  • * Tennyson
  • Fill the cup and fill the can , / Have a rouse before the morn.
    * (cylindrical metal container) tin
    Derived terms
    * beer can * can opener * carry the can * garbage can * kick at the can * kick the can / kick-the-can * kick the can down the road * trash can


  • To preserve, by heating and sealing in a can or jar.
  • They spent August canning fruit and vegetables.
  • to discard, scrap or terminate (an idea, project, etc.).
  • He canned the whole project because he thought it would fail.
  • To shut up.
  • Can your gob.
  • (US, euphemistic) To fire or dismiss an employee.
  • The boss canned him for speaking out.





    Alternative forms

    * ye * ya, yah, yer, yeh, y', yo, yu (informal or eye dialect) * -cha * -ja * u * yoo (eye dialect) * yew * youe, yow, yowe (obsolete)


  • (object pronoun) The people spoken, or written to, as an object.
  • * 1611 , Bible , Authorized (King James) Version. Genesis XLII:
  • And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you , saying, Ye are spies [...].
  • * (William Shakespeare), Richard III :
  • If I may counsaile you, some day or two / Your Highnesse shall repose you at the Tower [...].
  • * 1611 , Bible , Authorized (King James) Version. Genesis XIX:
  • And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city.
  • * 1975 , Joseph Nazel, Death for Hire :
  • You'd better get you a gun and kill him before he kills you or somebody.
  • (object pronoun) The person spoken to or written to, as an object. (Replacing thee; originally as a mark of respect.)
  • * (Thomas Malory), Le Morte Darthur , Book VIII:
  • I charge you , as ye woll have my love, that ye warne your kynnesmen that ye woll beare that day the slyve of golde uppon your helmet.
  • (subject pronoun) The people spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Replacing ye.)
  • Both of you should get ready now.
    You are all supposed to do as I tell you.
  • (subject pronoun) The person spoken to or written to, as a subject. (Originally as a mark of respect.)
  • * (Geoffrey Chaucer), "The Clerk's Tale", Canterbury Tales , Ellesmere manuscript (c. 1410):
  • certes lord / so wel vs liketh yow / And al youre werk / and euere han doon / þat we / Ne koude nat vs self deuysen how / We myghte lyuen / in moore felicitee [...].
  • * 1814 , (Jane Austen), Mansfield Park :
  • You' are right, Fanny, to protest against such an office, but ' you need not be afraid.
  • (indefinite personal pronoun) Anyone, one; an unspecified individual or group of individuals (as subject or object).
  • * 2001 , Polly Vernon, The Guardian , 5 May 2001:
  • You' can't choose your family, your lovers are difficult and volatile, but, oh, ' you can choose your friends - so doesn't it make much more sense to live and holiday with them instead?

    Usage notes

    * Originally, , respectively.) * In some forms of English, are all but nonexistent. * Although , or youse (though not all of these are completely equivalent or considered Standard English). * The pronoun is usually omitted in imperative sentences, but need not be. In affirmative imperatives, it may be included before the verb (You go right ahead''; ''You stay out of it''); in negative imperatives, it may be included either before the ''don't'', or, more commonly, after it (''Don't you dare go in there''; ''Don't you start now ). * See for other personal pronouns.


    * *: thou *: ye *: yer (UK eye dialect) * *: all of you (plural) *: you all *: you + number *: ye *: yous/youse *: y'all, all y'all (Southern US) *: ya'll (AAVE) *: you-uns (Midwestern US and Appalachia) *: yinz *: you guys/you gals *: you lot (UK) *: allyou (Caribbean) *: yer (UK eye dialect) * , ye, to you, to thee, to ye * ye, to you, to ye, to you all * (one) one, people, they, them

    Derived terms

    * you're


    (en determiner)
  • The individual or group spoken or written to.
  • Have you gentlemen come to see the lady who fell backwards off a bus?
  • Used before epithets for emphasis.
  • You idiot!


    (en verb)
  • To address (a person) using the pronoun you'', rather than ''thou .