When it comes to negotiating meaning and servicing relationships, language comes in handy. One of the blessings of language is that it helps in feeling the pulse of one another especially in asking for permission to do one thing or another. Asking for permissions is crucial in our interaction and communication; and this post, How to Ask for Permission in Everyday English with Examples, shows various ways of asking for permission in various forms with descriptive examples to illustrate the points being made.
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How to Ask for Permission in Everyday English with Examples
There are undoubtedly various ways to ask for permission in everyday English with examples. They include the underlisted ways…
The above question is the usual way of asking for permission to do something. For example:
- Can I come with you?
- Dad, can we switch on the television?
- Can we go now, sweetheart?
Is it all right if I…/Is it OK if I…?
These two questions above are also other ways of asking for permission to do something and they are also commonly used in everyday English. Examples include:
- Is it all right if I open the window?
- Mum, is it okay if I take some cookies?
- Is it OK if I take some time off work?
May I/Could I/Do you think I could
These phrases, starting with the auxiliary verbs sound more polite than can I. We use them especially when we are talking to people that we do not know well. Let us see some instances of heir usage:
- May I come in?
- Could I use your phone?
- Do you think we could take a five-minute break?
- May I present her with the papers?
Do/Would you mind if I…?
These phrases are also used when talking to people that one does not know well: examples include:
- Do you mind if I call you Chris?
- Would you mind if I took your picture?
If someone asks you do/would you mind if I?
You can say, (No) of course not when giving them permission, for example:
- ‘Would you mind if I asked you a question?’ ‘Of course not. Go ahead!’
If you don’t want to give permission, you usually say I’m afraid or I’m sorry but and then give a reason, for example:
- ‘Do you mind if I stay a few more minutes?’ ‘I’m sorry but I have another appointment.’
There is an interesting post I put together on this: How to answer questions. Do check it out.
More formal Ways of Asking for Permission
Different ways of asking for permission are not limited to the ones explained above; there are yet other ways Let us consider them…
Was wondering if I could/I was wondering if it might be possible for me to
We make use of these expressions of permission when asking someone for permission in a very formal and polite way. However, this is used in spoken English, and also in formal letters. Let us consider these examples:
- I was wondering if I could have a few more days to finish my assignment.
- I was wondering if it might be possible for me to come and look around the department.
Would it bother you if I…?
This is used when asking permission to do something in a very polite way; and one wants to be careful not to cause problems for someone; see these examples:
- Would it bother you if I put you on our mailing list?
- Would it bother you if I invite you to my church?
If someone asks you, would it bother you if I? and you say yes, it means that you do not want them to do it. If you say no, that means that you are happy for them to do it. Note this well lest you give the wrong answer despite meaning the opposite. Do you remember the song, do not say ‘yes’ when you mean to say ‘no’?
With your permission, I’d like to
People use this expression when checking with someone if they can do something. It is used especially in official contexts: let us see these examples:
- With your permission, I’d like to forward your email to our accounts department.
- With your permission, I’d like to bring my friend home.
- Dad, with your permission, I’d like to go for excursion with my classmates.
We can even insert the word ‘kind’. This gives a sense of high regard to the person we are seeking permission from. For example:
- Sir, with your kind permission, I’d like to marry your daughter.
In the post, How to Ask for Permission in Everyday English with Examples, we have seen diverse ways of asking for permission; especially, in the formal way. Kindly take note of them and make use of them henceforth in your expressions. You can also check out other related interesting posts as listed below. Remember to share this link within your circle of influence. See you around!
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