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  1. #1
    rainous's Avatar
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    Default on your home phone

    Can I call you later on your home phone?

    Can I call your home later?

    Hi,

    Are these two sentences grammatically correct and do they basically have the same meaning?

    And as for the first one, are prepositions other than "on" also acceptable to be used, such as "to" or "at"?

    Thanks
    Last edited by rainous; 29-Dec-2011 at 05:01.

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Default Re: on your home phone

    Both you examples are okay and common, though it's technically not correct to say can I when you mean may I. Other options would include:

    Can I call you later at home?
    I'll call you at home on your land line. (not your cell phone)

    Mostly we (NA) use on when talking about telephone usage.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: on your home phone

    I'll call you on your landline later.
    I'll all you at home later.
    Can I call you at home later?

    I wouldn't use "on your landline" and "at home" together. Most people will assume that you mean their home landline not the landline at work.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: on your home phone

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    ... it's technically not correct to say can I when you mean may I.
    'Can I...?' in that sense is competely acceptable to most speakers of BrE these days.
    Last edited by 5jj; 29-Dec-2011 at 12:45. Reason: typo

  5. #5
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Default Re: on your home phone

    That's why I used the word "technically". It is common to use "can I", though most educated people know it's not 'correct'. "May I" sounds too stuffy, so a lot of people will punt and simply say, "could I" or "Would it be okay if I..."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: on your home phone

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    That's why I used the word "technically". It is common to use "can I", though most educated people know it's not 'correct'. "May I" sounds too stuffy, so a lot of people will punt and simply say, "could I" or "Would it be okay if I..."
    I am probably being a little picky here, but who is to say that it is 'technically "correct"' nowadays? Even when the difference was hammered into me at school nearly sixty years ago, 'may I' was used in BrE only by a certain social class and those who aspired to be accepted by/in that class.

    I would accept that 'may I' is still the preferred form in very formal speech, but I think that to suggest that 'educated'people know it is not 'correct' puts a restricted meaning on 'educated'. I have known many speakers with at least a first degree, including teachers of English, who consider 'may I' old-fashioned and unnecessary.

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