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    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Question Can/ May

    I'm writing a formal email that's getting on my nerves. Shall I say 'You may join us if you wish' or 'You can join us if you wish'

    What is the difference between 'Can' an 'May' here?

    Many thanks

  1. queenbu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Maltese
      • Home Country:
      • Malta
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 1,031
    #2

    Re: Can/ May

    If it's formal I would use 'you may....'


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #3

    Re: Can/ May

    When I was small and asked "Can I do something?", the answer was always "You can do something, the question is may you do it".

    It is politer to say "may".

  2. queenbu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Maltese
      • Home Country:
      • Malta
      • Current Location:
      • Italy

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 1,031
    #4

    Re: Can/ May

    Hehe-same here. I remember at school, when we asked 'Can I go to the toilet?' the teacher answered 'You can, but you may not!'

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