Poll: Can I come in?

Can I come in?

The speaker wants to know if it's all right to enter.
The speaker wants to know if they are capable of entering.
Both

Statistics Stats

This Poll:

  • Votes: 517
  • Comments: 3
  • Added: August 2003

All Polls:

  • Polls: 1,043
  • Votes: 548,640
  • Comments: 4,346

Comments:

Vladimir

I think these two sentences above are both correct.

tektek

I believe that both sentences are correct...in the 1st case "The speaker wants to know if it's all right to enter." --> the modal can has almost the same function of the modal "may " considering that the answer would be "yes you can"
but in the 2nd case; "The speaker wants to know if they are capable of entering." --> notice the use of "capable"= he is outside , they are inside & they are capable of letting him in.

Vidableek

This reminds me of elementary school. You would always go up to the teacher and ask "Can I go to the bathroom?". And they would say "I don't know, can you?" attempting to get us to use the "proper" term "may I" as in "do I have permission to" not "am I able to". But now if anyone says that to me, I promptly rape them verbally and dump their corpse in the East River.

You must vote before you can post a comment.
Browse our language polls:
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 |  Next »