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  1. TestUser

    Does 'can' imply politeness ?

    Hello Dear Teacher,

    I have a question related to usage of can.

    e.g. If I ask someone "Can you give me a pen?" , does this mean I am requesting that person ?

    Could you please let me know whether can implies request ? Or I have to make it "Can you please give me the pen ?" to make it a request.

    Thanks a lot

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

    Re: Does 'can' imply politeness ?

    It is the structure of the sentence that makes it a question, not the word "can".

    "Can you give me a pen?" is certainly a request as to whether that person can provide a pen; the addition of "please" only makes it more polite.

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