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Thread: may

  1. #1
    towcats1 is offline Junior Member
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    Default may

    I was sure that modal verb 'may' is used for asking permission. I am reading now - 'spoken' (about asking permission).
    Let's imagine the director needs to interrupt his two eachers' dialog.
    Shoud he say 'may I interrupt you' or 'can' instead of 'may'?

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: may

    He should ask if he may. By speaking up he already has shown that he can.

    Many people use "can" for permission nowadays. It seems somewhat pedantic to ask the toll taker "may I have a receipt?" I say something like "Can I get a receipt?"

  3. #3
    towcats1 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: may

    Let's suppose he's a very kind and considerate director. What should he say?

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: may

    I already said that he should say "may."

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: may

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post

    I say something like "Can I get a receipt?"
    Please note, towcats, that BE speakers do not use that construction.

  6. #6
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: may

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Please note, towcats, that BE speakers do not use that construction.
    Some do- to the annoyance of others.

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: may

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Some do- to the annoyance of others.
    Particularly fathers.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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