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    • Join Date: Feb 2009
    • Posts: 88
    #1

    Exclamation Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Hello there.

    Which is the most formal?

    Shall I carry your suitcase?
    Could I carry your suitcase?
    May I carry your suitcase?


    Please help me!

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Oriya
      • Home Country:
      • India
      • Current Location:
      • India

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 2,121
    #2

    Exclamation Re: Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Which is the most formal?

    Shall I carry your suitcase? If you say, I am determined to carry. Showing determiation
    Could I carry your suitcase? If you agree I will be happy to carry. Most formal and polite expression
    May I carry your suitcase? If you permit I am capable to carry. Expression of capability.


    Please help me!
    SKP

  1. Huda-M's Avatar
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      • Pakistan
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      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Aug 2008
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    #3

    Re: Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Yes, I agree with these.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 15
    #4

    Re: Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Shall I carry your suitcase? If you say, I am determined to carry. Showing determiation

    Could I carry your suitcase? If you agree I am capable to carry. Expression of capability

    May I carry your suitcase? If you permit I will be happy to carry. Most formal and polite expression


    May I is the most polite form of expression among the three. It shows your willingness to help ... Shall I just expresses whether help is needed without showing any willingness to offer help.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #5

    Re: Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Which is the most formal?

    Shall I carry your suitcase?
    Could I carry your suitcase?
    May I carry your suitcase?


    Please help me!
    "May I" is the most formal.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #6

    Re: Shall I vs Could I vs May I

    Quote Originally Posted by gchman View Post
    Hello there.

    Which is the most formal?

    Shall I carry your suitcase?
    Could I carry your suitcase?
    May I carry your suitcase?


    Please help me!
    Yes, those are good, and you can also say this:

    Can I carry your suitcase?

    It's not often that we use "shall". In fact, you could live in the USA for years and never hear it. That's how frequently people use it.

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