"Can I borrow your notebook?"
Well…having that "your" there, it should be better to include the ownership somehow, e.g. "你的笔记本可以借我吗？"
For answering this question to Duo, yes. I thought of this as asking whether it's a viable sentence, then I would say it is, when "your" is already understood, e.g. when the speaker actually has grasped his dorm roommate's notebook in hand while he asks.
Does 向 and 借 always need to be together? There are other sentences that don't have the same structure. I'm confused.
借 can mean borrow or lend depending on the context told by these connecting words. ~向 someone 借 something~ means ~borrow something from someone~. However 向 is not the only choice of words. So they don't necessarily go always together.
can someone break down this translation? i can towards you borrow notebook yes/no?
向 does not necessarily mean towards, it can be merely a relationship preposition of an action. 向你借 just means "borrow from you"
It would be nice if the tips included this type of information. Thank you for explaining.