Tag: may

the modal verb “may”

Posted on Gennaio 31, 2016 in english

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I’m a very indecisive person and today I’m going to teach you how to express possibility in English ☺

Let’s start with the modal verbs “may” and “might”.

The modal verb “may” indicates possibility.

For example,

I may have pizza for dinner tonight.
Probabilmente cenerò pizza questa sera.

It may rain this weekend.
Può piovere questo weekend.

Here you can use the modal verb “might” instead of “may” and say:

I might have pizza for dinner tonight.

It might rain this weekend.

Here “may” is slightly more formal than “might”.
In queste frasi, “may” è un po’ più formale di “might”.

We sometimes use the adverbs “maybe” and “perhaps” to express possibility. “Perhaps” is more formal than “maybe”.

When referring to possible future events like the ones in the examples above, we use these adverbs followed by the future with “will”.
Quando ci riferiamo a possibili eventi futuri come quelli degli esempi di prima, questi avverbi vanno seguiti dal futuro con “will”.

Look…

Perhaps I will have pizza for dinner tonight.
or
Maybe I will have pizza for dinner tonight.
Forse cenerò pizza questa sera.

Perhaps it will rain this weekend.
or
Maybe it will rain this weekend.
Forse pioverà questo weekend.

Hopefully it won’t rain this weekend!
Speriamo che non piove questo weekend!

make formal requests

Posted on Novembre 29, 2015 in english

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Today we are going to look at how to make formal requests in English.
Oggi impareremo a formulare richieste formali in inglese.

Most commonly we use “could” and “may” to make formal requests.

Have a look at a dialogue between Frank (F) and John (J) to see how to use them correctly:

F: Good morning, John. May I open the window in here? It’s very hot.
Buongiorno, John. Posso aprire la finestra? Fa molto caldo qui.

J: Sure, Frank! As you are standing up, could you also turn on the fan to cool down the room?
Certo Frank! Già che sei in piedi, potresti anche accendere il ventilatore così rinfreschiamo la stanza?

F: OK, no problem!
OK , non c’è problema!

J: Could you and Mike go to the bank for me later? I urgently need to convert 500 pounds into US dollars and have no free time today.
Dopo tu e Mike potreste andare in banca per me? Ho bisogno di cambiare 500 pounds in dollari e oggi non ho tempo.

F: OK. May we go to a few banks to get the best rate?
OK, possiamo andare in un paio di banche per trovare il cambio migliore?

J: Of course you may!
Sì certo!

As you can see, we use “may” and “could” to ask for permission.

Questions with “may” or “could” are more formal than questions with “can”.
Le domande con “may” o “could” sono più formali di quelle con “can”.

*An important rule to remember is that we only use “may” in questions with the first person forms “I” and “we”. We can use “could” with all persons.
* Importante: “may” si usa solo nelle domande in prima persona (I e We). “Could” si può impiegare con tutte le persone.

We use “can”, “could” and “may” to ask for permission. However, we use “can” and “may”, but not “could”, to give permission. For example:
Si può usare “can”, “could” e “may” per chiedere permesso. Tuttavia, usiamo “can” e “may”, ma non “could”, per dare il permesso di fare qualcosa. Ad esempio:

– May I use your car tomorrow?
Posso usare la tua macchina domani?

– Yes, you may.
Sì.

– Can I go out tonight?
Posso uscire stasera?

– Yes, you can, but be home by ten.
Sì, però devi tornare a casa entro le 10.

– Could I borrow your car this afternoon?
Mi presti la tua macchina oggi pomeriggio?

– Sorry, you can’t, it’s at the mechanic’s.
Mi spiace, è dal meccanico.