In corporate world, it is all about the permissions and approvals for example we ask the client’s approval before commencing any of their work. Since our childhood, we have been taught to take permissions whenever or wherever it's necessary. Whether it’s in school or at office we have all gone through this process of asking permissions or approvals. Be it an outing with friends or a sleepover, we have managed to ask permission from our parents. It is essential to know some formal phrases that can help you in various situations. Remember to be polite and kind while asking for permissions. It is advisable to use “please” in the sentence wherever necessary. In today’s blog, we will teach the phrases that could be used.
7 phrases you must know
1. May I …, please?
This phrase is used in a formal sentence.
May I use your mobile, please?
May I borrow your mobile number?
2. Do you think I could + verb
This one is quite informal and can be used while asking your friend about your ability to do a thing.
Do you think I could crack medical entrance exams?
Do you think I could complete this assignment by tomorrow?
3. Would it possible for me + infinitive
The above phrase can be used when you are uncertain about the other person’s reaction.
Would it be possible for me to use your mobile for few days?
Would it be possible for me to use your sister’s dress for now?
4. Would you approve of ......?
This is a polite sentence as it seeks approval.
Would you approve of me marrying this beautiful woman?
Would you approve of me pursuing an management degree in the USA?
Phrases to be used for giving permissions:
1. Yes, please do.
2. Sure, go ahead.
3. No problem.
4. Please feel free.
5. Go right ahead.
Phrases to be used for denying or refusing the permissions:
1. No, please don’t.
2. I am sorry, but that’s not possible.
3. I'm afraid, but you can't.
4. I'm afraid that's not possible.
5. Unfortunately, I need to say no
6. I'm afraid I would prefer if you don't do so.
Take a quick test and check your understanding:
A. Which of the following is the most formal?
1. May I leave the room?
2. Could I leave the room?
3. Can I leave the room?
B. What is the least polite way to ask permission?
1. Can I turn up the volume?
2. Could I turn up the volume?
3. May I turn up the volume?
C. How do you ask for permission if you feel your action(s) might cause inconvenience to the person you are asking?
3. Do you mind if
Answers: A – 1, B – 1, C – 3
The above explanation shows how to ask for a permission or approval in different situations. Keep the rapport intact with proper usage of spoken English communication skills.
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- By Chander Madan
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