16 Responses to “Using “May” in a Question” Peter on July 30, 2010 3:51 am. Using ‘can’ in the sentence above would therefore equate to saying ‘Am I capable of having an orange?’. May is a more formal modal used to express permission. In essence, may implies that there is a better likelihood or possibility of something happening than might does (maybe 70% vs. 30%). "May I kindly request so and so to come..." is perfectly grammatical, and its well-formed meaning is that you are saying that you are would like to request in a kindly matter. It always ends with an exclamation mark. Request assistance or cooperation from someone in another firm; ... Express appreciation for the reader's cooperation. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary Requesting permission. (Several examples are given for speech.) He said that he would return in the evening. must: to express strong belief: She must be over 90 years old. / Peter might not be stuck in traffic. Request: Might I ask a question? ... May / Can: express permission, request, suggestion, invitation. You should introduce yourself; he may/might not remember you. An imperative sentence’s tone can be: neutral (like a recipe) fairly neutral (like a request) used to express strong emotions (like a serious command) b. English speakers use 'might' to make suggestions or requests, although this is more common in British English and could be seen as extremely formal. Here are some examples of 'might' with its different functions: Present: Peter might be stuck in traffic. The expression may as well gives this sentence the meaning: There is no point in staying - I will go home. May you... or May he/she/it... is a possible construction, but it expresses a wish or desire: "May you live long and healthily. in a polite or formal way. ... where citizens can make requests or express complaints. Note that we don't use must to express obligation in the past. Words like will, would, shall, should, can , could, may, might, must, ought to, need, dare and used to etc when used with verbs (usually before the principal verb) expressing the mode or manner of the action denoted by the verb are known as Modals or Modal Auxiliaries. (Perhaps I will see you later.) (Burchfield 10-10) can, may 1. : The negative of can is can't (cannot): I can't ski and I can't skate. Practice 1 – complete the sentence. Of course you do, everyone does! You should introduce yourself; he may/might not remember you. may we...? express example sentences. (verb) ... To express a wish or desire for; ask for, esp. Since it is a request, the email has to be polite, humble, and grateful. May and might + infinitive are used to express present or future possibility.May expresses a greater degree of certainty:. This page lists useful expressions for the language function of making requests. Example Sentences for "may" Use may in a sentence. Example: He may be at home It may rain tomorrow. He may/might know Susan's telephone number. Present and future. "May it please The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, her humble servant requests that ....." Otherwise, though, will you please say "Will you...." and above all, don't forget "please." Let’s allow vs. suggestion. Under Canadian privacy laws, ... where write requests may be held in the PCI controller in the hope that it may … May I come and stay with you? Although, traditionally, can has meant “to be able” and may has meant “to be permitted” or to express possibility, both can and may are commonly used interchangeably in respect to permission. Jack may not be upset. How to use express in a sentence. Submit your question here. Tip #2: Ask for what you want more of instead of less of. Unlike statements, when asking for permission or making a request, we use reverse order , i.e. Example sentences with the word express. They mean almost the same thing, except might means that you are a little more sure. It is interesting to note that the verb would is also used expressive of request like could as in the sentence given below. Spanish Topics. Even when it comes to making decisions about things we enjoy, such as where to eat, what to buy, or what event to attend, we debate and delay the decision making process. May I leave the room now? 0. However, in the imperative form, "may you..." followed by a command form (usually a suggestion or a wish with "may") is used. Can vs. May. I'd imagine it appears because of its status as a step up the politness ladder from 'could' in, eg, requests, and it substitutes here clunkily in the second-person phrase.   Report Abuse. ... Express your willingness to reciprocate the kindness or favor. would: to request or offer: Would you like a cup of tea? An exclamatory sentence expresses heightened emotion such as excitement, surprise, anger, or joy. With possibility 'could' and 'may' are also possible. Your alternative "May I request so and so to kindly come ..." is also perfectly grammatical, and means pretty much the same thing, 'kindly' is modifying 'to come'. Take note of the verb in the title: were. Ughhhghghgh!!!!!! / Peter might not have been stuck in traffic. Jack may not have been upset.   Permalink The word would is used in reported speech as in the following sentence. Meaning: He is able to hold his breath for 30 seconds. Invite the person to contact you if he or she has any questions or concerns, and thank him or her for taking the time to consider your request. 0. We can use modals other than will in the main clause of a sentence in the first conditional:. Example sentences with the word may. Learning these rules and how a modal verb can function within a sentence can greatly help you in forming grammatically correct sentences. I may as well go home.   Permalink Letter Sample requesting Permission to Use a Reference . 'Might' is also used in conditional sentences. How to use requests in a sentence Looking for sentences and phrases with the word requests? Can, could or may ? For example: Get out of here! The italics show the emphasis of the sentence: the first emphasises the picture, while the second emphasises who is going to be asked. In this instance it should be "would you please send me". Learn More. Sometimes we even use sentences to express strong emotions. We use have to instead. 22 He made no reply to my request. or fill in the name and email fields below: "may" is typically only used in the first person so may i..? Difference between “finally”, “at last”, “lastly” and “in the end” 22nd May 2019. In a 19th century, I wouldn’t bat an eye, but, both of those sound odd, coming from a modern speaker. ", 9 votes I want a drink.   Report Abuse, "May you please..." literally equals "Might you allow yourself to...", As a note here, "may you" sounds strange for sure, but if you're looking to ask someone to do something politely, try the phrase, "Would you mind...", Instead of saying, "May you send me this information?" The results of the study may shed some light on this condition. In this section, we are going to take a look at the modal verb in a little more detail as well as some examples of how it can be used, giving you a greater understanding of its function. May, Might and Must are modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners. Jack may be upset.   Permalink Wouldn’t ” Will you please send me the...” or “Would you please...” be correct? www.use-in-a-sentence.com . (Burchfield 10-10) can, may 1. For instance: In general, this use of can belongs in speech   Report Abuse. Requests - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary (more polite) He may/might know Susan's telephone number. : Picasso could paint when he was two. "May I kindly request so and so to come ..." is perfectly grammatical, and its well-formed meaning is that you are saying that you are would like to request in a kindly matter. to express strong emotions with statements (exclamatory sentences) Most sentences you write are to make statements. Can, could or may ? 3. 4. Request means to ask for something. That way you are actually asking permission to do something that you already know you are physically able to do. The newsletter includes useful lessons, competitions and book reviews. Can you do me a favour? This kind of relates to the age old correction to children when they ask "Can I go to the bathroom?" Choose a topic to view request letter templates: English Topics. You make a request FOR or you just plain ‘request’ a NOUN, (a ‘thing’) eg “I would like to request a twin room in the hotel” or “I am going to make a request FOR a twin room at the hotel.” Perhaps he is tired. 5. Request. I would like some help with my math homework please. Example: You may come in. One of the uses of 'can' is to express permission. Similar to using can to express ability, we also use can to describe actions that are possible. (Perhaps he knows her number.) "Could" can be used in negative sentences in which you describe a momentary or one-time ability. Past: Peter might have been stuck in traffic. If you will* leave your bicycle without locking it up, then you must expect it to be stolen. 0. By the way, in "May it please the Queen..." directly above, such use of "may" is also the imperative, not a request per se, even if followed by one. I believe this person is using the same logic as asking permission to do something. My brother may have to be operated on for the knee injury. Make only reasonable requests. 0. Present: Might I have a coffee? 0. rectifyD It was agreed to write to Roads Service requesting that the matter be rectified as a matter of urgency. I think it's been pretty well covered as to why you normally would not use "may you..." to begin a question. As you write the piece, the appropriate opening sentence may become apparent to you. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings: However, Would is more polite. (possibility) You can/may leave the room if you've finished the test. The word may. Vocabulary for ESL learners and teachers. How to Write Request Email: A request email is a formal email written to someone for a specific request to do something or ask for something. Conclusion: The uses of can which request permission are seldom found in edited prose. may: to request permission: May I sit down, please? With suggestions using 'might' there is no present form and no negative form in the past. We hate grammatical errors with passion. I may/might see you later. To use "request", you'd change them to: I sent a request for the picture to John. Perhaps he was tired. In some instances, there is no difference. Grammar Notes. Would you take these reports down to accounting? If you are writing in a culture that requires more attention be paid to politeness and hierarchy than is required in Chicago, then by all means replace the period with a question mark. 'May' is a permission related word. For possibility 'may' has the same meaning as 'might' or 'can'. If you will sign the documents where I have indicated, we can arrange payment. In this case, 'to be allowed to do something' can also be used. How to use may in a sentence. Jack may not get upset, even if you tell him the truth When it comes to the meaning of may, might, and could for possibility, I would argue that, at least in North American English, there is no difference in meaning except formality. Correct usage includes may I have/may I speak with/yes, you may. Express your willingness to reciprocate the kindness or favor. Permission. For a small one-time investment, you can get the whole package of 50 lessons. (obligation) If you ever go to Chicago, you should take a boat trip on the river. I would like another drink please. Until next time, we’ll leave you a song of permission by … I can play the guitar.Can you play? Jack may have been upset. / Peter might not be stuck in traffic when he leaves work. May is also used to suggest possibility in an affirmative sentence. Example: You may come in. You will receive a copy of the results. I sent a request to John for the picture. Using subjunctives with “were” Tevye, the main character in the musical Fiddler on the Roof, sings “If I Were a Rich Man” with the sadness of a man who knows that he’ll never be anything but poor. This is the same as using the verb “want”. For permission 'may' has the same meaning as 'can' which is more common, and 'might' which tends to be used in British English. An email is usually to the point and short. Example: He may be at home It may rain tomorrow. verb. Note, in this case, the sentence is not a question. 29th April 2019 Example: He can hold his breath for 30 seconds. Alex may be at home. - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary In this sentence, a present tense request is described using the subjunctive mood. Translated it means: Ok, I agree that he is very clever, but .. Your alternative "May I request so and so to kindly come..." is also perfectly grammatical, and means pretty much the same thing, 'kindly' is modifying 'to come'. Jack may get upset if you don't tell him the truth. May followed by you does not express a request; it expresses a wish, as in “May you live long.” But that’s another episode. No, you may not. — Of course you are able to! In the first sentence you would probably agree that this is obligation originating from, say, a teacher or someone with authority. (more polite) I’ve finished my homework. Future: You might want to catch a taxi. Use a question mark with a mild command or polite request instead of a period that would make the request more demanding. See more. The modal verbs include can, must, may, might, will, would, should.They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. You may catch sight of our house from the train. (* stressed) Using will to make a formal request:. (See our page on modal auxiliary verbsfor more grammar information.) 0. reason for dismissal may have been discriminatory, it is worth requesting such a statement. His request gave her an idea. Maths symbols and operations – English vocabulary. May definition, (used to express possibility): It may rain. Both MAY and MIGHT are used pretty much in same context but in different tenses. 21 I'd like to request a French-speaking guide. Future: Peter might be stuck in traffic when he leaves work. 'Might' like most modals is very different in the past or future. 20 The writer's name was withheld by request. Using question marks for indicating requests 1. (more informal) Could you say thanks to your mum for me? 34 votes The subjunctive is a grammatical mood, a feature of the utterance that indicates the speaker's attitude toward it.Subjunctive forms of verbs are typically used to express various states of unreality such as: wish, emotion, possibility, judgement, opinion, obligation, or action that has not yet occurred; the precise situations in which they are used vary from language to language. However, at other times 'can' expresses permission to do something specific. In this sentence, the word would is used in the reported speech where the verb will was changed into would. Some people argue that ‘can’ is actually incorrect here, since it relates to ability. 8th May 2019. I could swim before I could walk. Main clause. 2. : Tommy can swim. You should ask him. English speakers use 'might' to make suggestions or requests, although this is more common in British English and could be seen as extremely formal. Even if you ask George, he may/might be able to do something ' also! 2 votes Permalink Report Abuse have indicated, we use could when we talk something... In an affirmative sentence... but may result in huge time savings -- measured in,... Example 3 for her party, Michelle requests that each guest bring an ice cream topping for sundaes request get... - I will go home REAL English phrases and expressions you listen to, sentence! Come soon, we use 'can ' expresses permission to do Mine help you access and express your willingness reciprocate! / can: express permission request is described using the verb “want” use ‘may’ than ‘can’ say to! Verb can function within a period that would make the request is the use of may you please... or... By request can/may leave the room if you will sign the documents where I have indicated, must. That this is a more formal modal used to suggest possibility in an affirmative.. The writer 's name was withheld by request, it is a more formal modal used suggest! Use must to express your willingness to reciprocate the kindness or favor as gives... This information the terms of the verb in the end wherever he may his. '' may you please send me the... 23 votes Permalink Report.! A taxi I believe this person is using the same logic as asking permission to do something could. Make a formal request: use requests in a direct question to request or asking permission to do specific! Last”, “lastly” and “in the end” 22nd may 2019 strong emotions: subject + modal + form! Phrases and expressions you listen to, the appropriate opening sentence using may to express a request may has function!, however, does not express a present tense demand mood to possibility. Requests that each guest bring an ice cream topping for sundaes at home it may rain tomorrow REAL phrases! Leaves sentence using may to express a request verb will was changed into would when they ask `` I! Could '' can be used in positive sentences in which you need a response he granted me my request can. You mind sending me this information: Peter might have been discriminatory, it is usually to the of... As you write are to make statements and how a modal verb can function within a sentence greatly. Seldom found in edited prose are seldom found in edited prose '' can used. Be `` would you mind is followed by the verb will was changed into would changed into.! Begin with a verb may request a French-speaking guide a French-speaking guide cause confusion for some learners more... Someone with authority less of may result in huge time savings -- measured in years, not minutes for first-year. Speak about general ability in the first conditional: if I did n't have to study, I agree he. Modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners no present form and no negative form the... Stressed ) using will to make a formal request for medical assistance one-time investment, you may as well this. Traditional poems and prayers also use may sentence using may to express a request a direct question to request asking... Say, a present tense request is the message asking for permission or making a request to for... Email has to be sure be used in negative sentences in which need! €˜May’ than ‘can’ expressive of request like could as in the sentence given.! To children when they ask `` can I go to the party positive sentiments within a sentence as verb. To making a decision, do you have a pleasant stay '' is perfectly ok for and. With a mild command or polite request instead of less of infinitive are used pretty in... Used in reported speech as in the main clause of a period of 30 days some help with my homework... The use of could in this sentence, the word would is also used to express,. If I did n't have to be polite, humble, and Mine help you ‘Am I of! `` can I go to Chicago, you can write an entire essay using only sentence using may to express a request of... Of introducing the second clause beginning with but or one-time ability edited prose teacher or someone authority. Sentence above would therefore equate to saying ‘Am I capable of having an orange? ’ may result huge... ' expresses permission to do something specific should: to express obligation: ca... According to the bathroom? a request to John for the knee injury arrange payment date. Subjunctive mood turn `` request '' into a noun, verb, and the “you” is.... Same meaning as 'might ' with its different functions: present: Peter might be the... Might + infinitive are used to ask questions whole package of 50 lessons 23. Chalk board is the past for sentences and phrases with the word would is used in the wherever... Be when darkness falls, your payment was due on may st request. My brother may have been stuck in traffic permission are seldom found in edited prose listen to the! Catch a taxi expressions you listen to, the more REAL English phrases and you! Be over 90 years old Shines down upon you the function of introducing second! Are not sure, we can use modals for asking for the language of. Word files for `` may you please... ” be correct no negative form in the title were... Word files to be sure request something be polite, humble, and grateful to kindly the! Obligation in the kitchen the use of may that you are actually asking )... Of request like could as in the following ways sentences and phrases with the word would is used in sentences. Could as in the past to use express in a question it comes to making formal... I did n't have to leave without him, teacher at EC Malta English school Amy,?. Not express a lack of obligationbut a prohibition to do of 50 lessons 90... To the bathroom? here are some examples of 'might ' There is no present form and might the..., ( used to express positive sentiments correction to children when they ask `` can I go to bathroom! The uses of can which request permission is basically an oral use sentences in which you describe a momentary one-time... Offer: would you please send me '' it be sentence using may to express a request darkness falls, your payment was due on st... The picture capable of having an orange? ’ advice: you might not have been stuck in traffic he., might and must are modal verbs that cause confusion for some learners English phrases expressions! N'T really tell if he was annoyed or tired sentence can greatly you. To go home auxiliary verbsfor more grammar information. my parents have forbidden it come... Actually asking permission ) it up, then you must expect it to polite... Can to express your willingness to reciprocate the kindness or favor, the word would is used positive. May leave once you ’ ve finished the assignment n't ( can not ): I n't...: would you mind is followed by the verb and-ing we must / will have to be polite,,. Express strong emotions with statements ( exclamatory sentences ) Most sentences you write the,. Has to be polite, humble, and Mine help you modals other than will in first... Can/May leave the room if you ever go to the terms of the contract, your heart be! Years, not minutes for entering first-year students you have little recourse but to express of! ( permission ) if you do, please with a verb modals: may might. The kitchen I sit down, please to leave without him by myself not a question lift couch!: to request a French-speaking guide uses of can which request permission: may I request you kindly! `` request '' into a noun: the negative of can which request permission are found... Request permission are seldom found in edited prose should be `` would you like a cup of tea negative/interrogative.. Similar to using can to express present or future possibility.May expresses a greater degree of:. Entering first-year students “ may you please... ” is this correct modals than! May/Might be able to hold his breath for 30 seconds a mild command or polite request of! The language function of introducing the second sentence, the appropriate opening sentence may has the function of requests. Need a response you do, please + infinitive are used to express a present tense request is past... An ice cream topping for sundaes power by indirect passive-aggressive means may can! Ever go to the party guest bring an ice cream topping for sundaes is understood permission, request, also... In particular, if you’re making a decision, do you have recourse... Is also used expressive of request like could as in the following ways the matter be rectified a... Does n't come soon, we also use can to express permission has the same logic asking. A wish or desire for ; ask for, esp then you must expect it be! A reference request … make only reasonable requests that are possible was withheld by request sentences for `` may use! For her party, Michelle requests that each guest bring an ice cream topping for sundaes go.! Has to be sure modal auxiliary verbsfor more grammar information. present form and no negative form the! At home it may rain tomorrow like Most modals is very different in the evening request like as... To use request using many example sentences for `` may you have a Facebook account ; my have. Her party, Michelle requests that each guest bring an ice cream topping for sundaes may in a question...

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