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Unit 36. Can/ Could/ Would you …? etc.
(Requests, offers, permission and invitations)
(использование оборотов Can/ Could/ Would you …?)

Asking people to do things (requests)

We often use can or could to ask people to do things:

  • Can you wait a moment, please? or
    Could you wait a moment, please?
  • Liz, can you do me a favour?
  • Excuse me, could you tell me how to get to the station?
  • I wonder if you could help me.

Note that we say ‘Do you think (you) could…?’ (not usually ‘can’):

  • Do you think you could lend me some money until next week?
Unit 36. Can / Could / Would you…? etc. (Requests, offers, permission and invitations)

We also use will and would to ask people to do things (but can/could are more usual):

Asking for things

To ask for something we use Can I have…? or Could I have…?:

May I have…? is also possible (but less usual):

Asking for and giving permission

To ask for permission to do something, we use can, could or may:

To give permission, we use can or may.

May is formal and less usual than can or could.

Offering to do things

To offer to do something, we sometimes use Can I…?:

You can also use I'll… to offer to do things (see Unit 21):

Offering and inviting

To offer or to invite we use Would you like…? (not ‘do you like’)

I'd like… is a polite way of saying what you want:

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