Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Acceptable to use 'can' in requests

My Paper, Monday, April 9, 2012, Page A14, Viewpoints
From http://epaper.mypaper.sg/cnd/fvxen/fvxp/fvxpress.php?param=2012-04-09
Source Website: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Mailbox/Story/A1Story20120409-338428.html
By Mr Daniel Marden, Monday, Apr 09, 2012



PHOTO: It has become perfectly acceptable to use "can" in requests.
http://news.asiaone.com/a1media/news/04Apr12/20120409.103048_goodenglish.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/News/Mailbox/Story/A1Story20120409-338428.html

I refer to Ms Pamela Chong Kwang Ngo's letter, "Common English mistakes made here" (my paper, April 3).

She states that requests should be in the form of "Would you" or "May I", rather than "Can you" or "Can I".

While this may have been the case several years ago, it has become perfectly acceptable to use "can" in requests.

In fact, it is such a versatile word that it can be used for many functions, six of which I have listed:

1. To refer to ability
For instance: "I can speak English."

2. To ask for permission, or state what is permitted
For example: "Can I sit here?" or "You can't smoke on the MRT."

3. To make a request
For example: "Can you open the window, please?"

4. To speculate
For example: "He's not wearing a wedding ring. He can't be married."

5. To mean 'is often'
For example: "It can be be cold in January."

6. To mean 'is free to', in the future
For example: "The doctor can see you tomorrow."

On another note, we would not "send someone off at the airport".
We would instead "see them off", which means "to accompany someone who is leaving to a point of departure".
By Mr Daniel Marden, Monday, Apr 09, 2012

Mr Daniel Marden Senior English-Language Teacher Inlingua School Of Languages In Singapore.


At a party, 'can' for requests
PHOTO: At a party, "can" for requests
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UAtCWNmVYpE/T4SDV-f0FAI/AAAAAAAARtk/O6QGH2qmQuE/s1600/dance.gif
http://www.esljokes.net/images31-40/dance.gif
http://www.esljokes.net/elem3.html


HELPDESK
我的字典: Wǒ de zì diǎn


Mistakes: 错误 - cuò wù
Versatile: 多用途 - duō yòng tú
Smoke: 吸烟 - xī yān
Accompany: 陪伴 - péi bàn


Reference