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  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
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    Default could / may / can I I

    1. May I have it?

    2. Can I have it?

    3. Could I have it?


    What are the differences in meaning among May I, Can I, Could I?

    __________________________________________________ ____________

    I am making a sentence with Could I have it. Do I have to put the verb on the following sentence to past tense due to having could in the first sentence?

    eg. Could I have a pair of rubber shoes because I am going for hiking later in the afternoon.


    __________________________________________________ ____________
    Thank you.

  2. #2
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: could / may / can I I

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    1. May I have it?

    2. Can I have it?

    3. Could I have it?


    What are the differences in meaning among May I, Can I, Could I?
    Basically, there are no differences between those three modal verbs.
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    I am making a sentence with Could I have it. Do I have to put the verb on the following sentence to past tense due to having could in the first sentence?
    No, you don't.

    eg. Could I have a pair of rubber shoes because I am going for hiking later in the afternoon.


    __________________________________________________ ____________
    Thank you.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: could / may / can I I

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    1. May I have it?

    2. Can I have it?

    3. Could I have it?


    What are the differences in meaning among May I, Can I, Could I?

    __________________________________________________ ____________

    I am making a sentence with Could I have it. Do I have to put the verb on the following sentence to past tense due to having could in the first sentence?

    eg. Could I have a pair of rubber shoes because I am going for hiking later in the afternoon.


    __________________________________________________ ____________
    Thank you.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Ju,


    As I understand it:

    (1) Can I have a pair of gloves, please? I'm going hiking later this afternoon. = a polite request.

    (2) Could I have a pair of gloves, please? I'm .... = much more
    courteous. For some reason, in English the past form is often considered more courteous.

    Hey! Can I sit here?
    Excuse me. Could I sit here?

    (3) May I have a .... = According to Mr. Michael Swan's

    Practical English Usage, may is "more formal than can and could."

    (a) Mr. Swan also points out a super polite and formal word:

    Might [the past of "may"] I have a pair of gloves?

    Mr. Swan says that such a request is NOT very "natural." If you

    wish to use "might," then he suggests:

    I wonder if I might have a pair of gloves. I'm going hiking later this afternoon. (Such an indirect question is extremely formal and polite. You might use it for the boss:

    Excuse me, sir. I wonder if I might ask you a personal question.)

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