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Thread: may

  1. #1
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default may

    Can we use "may" for asking for permission for all persons?
    For example:
    May we go out?
    May he stay here?

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: may

    Yes. Most speakers of BrE would use 'can' here, but there are still a few old fogeys who insist that only 'may' is correct.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  3. #3
    English4everyone is offline Member
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    Default Re: may

    Thanks.
    How about American English? Is it (may) common in American English for all persons?

  4. #4
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: may

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    Thanks.
    How about American English? Is it (may) common in American English for all persons?
    "Can" is more likely (80%) to be used.

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: may

    Quote Originally Posted by English4everyone View Post
    Can we use "may" for asking for permission for all persons?
    For example:
    May we go out?
    May he stay here?
    You might also come across "might" used like that, "Might he stay here?" or "Might we go out?", I doubt that you'll here anyone say it but you could find it in literature.

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