Modal verbs – permission, permission modal verbs, modals of permissions in english;

Modals of PERMISSION in English

We use the modal CAN to talk about permission or ask for things at present.

  • Can I ask a question?
  • Can I go outside, please?
  • Can I borrow your black coat?
  • Can I come in?
  • Can I hand in my assignment late?

We can also use COULD and MAY to talk general permission in the past. However we cannot use COUL or MAY to talk about permission for a particular action in the past.

  • Could my father join us tomorrow for dinner?
  • Could I borrow your book?
  • May I use your notebook?
  • May I go to the bathroom?

Giving permission and Saying someone has permission;

  • You may take this Saturday off from work.
  • You can use our resources for free.
  • You can come with us.
  • Passengers may sit anywhere.


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