Typically an extruder and hot end are designed for one or the other, and cannot support the other without mechanical changes.
The extruder may not be able to grip a smaller diameter filament with enough force to assure even feeding and retraction.
The hot end, however, is much more complex. The filament has to be pushed with force into the melting zone, which means the filament has to slide along an area inside the hot end where the filament is plastic but still put pressure on the filament ahead of it.
When you put filament into a hot end, the filament softens before the melt zone, but since the walls of the hot end are just barely larger than the filament it has no choice but to continue pressing down on the liquid filament below.
With a narrower diameter filament, though, the filament can heat, soften, then travel backwards along the sides of the hot end and cool in place, jamming the hot end, or at least preventing an even continuous flow of plastic.
Some hot ends will accept a small Teflon tube that takes this space up and allows you to do this with fewer issues, and if you like to tinker you can experiment with this, but be prepared to learn a lot and fail a lot as you find out the hard lessons of hot end design.
Generally you should upgrade your entire extruder and hot end setup to the size you want to use.