Jen’s English Tip’s – Asking Permission
Whenever someone asks you for permission to do or use something you can answer in many ways other than a simple yes. Look at the examples below.
• Yes you can
• Yes you may
• Yes, please do.
• Sure, go ahead.
• No problem.
• Please feel free.
• Go right ahead.
Additionally there are more ways than one to refuse permission. Look at these examples.
Refusing to give permission:
• No you can’t
• No, please don’t.
• I’m afraid that’s not possible.
• I’m sorry but you can’t.
• I’d prefer if you didn’t / don’t.
• Sorry, but I’d rather you not do that.
• Unfortunately, I must say no.
Can I + verb (informal) May I + verb
Can I go out tonight? May I have another piece of pie?
Can he have dinner with us? May we go out with our friends tonight?
Could I please + verb Do you think I could + verb
Could I please go to the movie with Tom? Do you think I could use your telephone?
Could we please go for drive this weekend? Do you think I could borrow your car?
Would it be possible for me + verb Would you mind if I + verb
Would it be possible for me to have a drink? Would you mind if I stayed a few minutes longer?
Would it be possible for me to study here? Would you mind if I took a five minute break?
Would you mind my + verb + ing + your + object
Would you mind my using your telephone?
Would you mind my playing your piano?
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