Welcome to atozofenglish.com

Asking Polite Questions

In this lesson of Learning English as a Second Language, we shall learn:

  • Asking Polite Questions
  • Asking Polite Questions for Assistance

Video Tutorial in English

Video Tutorial in Urdu

In everyday life , there are times and situations when we talk formally or politely to people. Situations like talking to your boss, conducting a business meeting  etc.. In other words, you know very well , when to be formal and when to be informal. Usually while talking to friends and family members, we use informal English.

Asking Polite Questions for Permission:

A.     May I come in?   (Present Time)

B.    Could I come in?  (Present Time)

C.    Can I come in?     (Present Time)
 

A, B, C have the same meaning. I want your permission to come in. I am politely asking for your permission to come in.

Can is little less formal than May and Could. You can make the above sentences more polite by using Please in them.

e.g.

May I please come in?

Note: You can see that we are using, May , Could (Past of Can) and Can in asking polite questions, you may know that we use them in other sense as well, like can expresses ABILITY etc. But here in such sentences can is not showing any ability. You are just using May, Could and Can for asking Polite Questions and this is just one of the different ways they can be used. Remember that May , Could and Can in above sentences do not show Past Time , they show Present Time.

Asking Polite Questions for Assistance (help):

Above we learnt  asking polite questions for permission. Now we are looking at Asking Polite Questions for Assistance (Help), for that you will be using Would / Could.

e.g. 1.     Could you (please) shut the door? (Present Time)

       2.     Would you (please) shut the door ? (Present Time)

1 and 2 have the same meaning, I want you to shut the door. In other words , I am politely asking you to shut the door.

You can make such questions more polite by using (please)

Note: Kindly do not take would as past of Will and Could as Past of Can in asking polite questions for assistance. It is just one of the other ways they can be used. Remember that Could and Would in above sentences do not show Past Time they show Present Time.

Custom Search

Contact Us on Skype

Skype Me™!

Subscribe Via e-mail

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Privacy Policy