Asking for Permission

Hello everyone!



Today, we'll be talking about how to ask for permission.

When in another country, this is very helpful if you are not sure if it's fine for you to do something.




I. Common Phrases


  • May I~
  • Would it be alright if I ~
  • Can I ~ (used by native speakers but "May I ~" is better) (ネイティブの人がよく使っているが、「May I ~」のほうが正しいです)
  • Would you mind if I ~ (less common) (「May I ~」よりはあまり使わないです)



Note: the base form of the verb always comes after these phrases.



II. Examples 例

  • May I borrow an umbrella? 傘を借りてもいいですか?
  • Would it be alright if I leave my bag here? ここにカバンを置いてもいいですか?
  • Can I sit here? ここに座ってもいいですか?
  • Would you mind if my dog sat next to you? 隣に犬が座ってもいいですか?

III. Replying 返事

A. Accepting 許可する場合

If someone asks you permission to do something and you give them permission, you can let them know by saying:


  • Sure!
  • Go ahead.
  • Yes, it's fine.
  • Be my guest. (not often used) (あまり使わないです)



B. Declining 断るとき


1. If someone asks you permission to do something but it is not allowed, you can let them know politely by saying:


  • I'm sorry, you're not allowed to do that.
  • I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't let you do that.



2. If you are uncomfortable with what they are requesting or you don't want to give them permission, it is better to say the reason.

このフレーズを使うなら、「I'm afraid」の後で断る理由が来ます。

  • I'm sorry, I'm afraid ~



For example:

If a person at the restaurant asks if they can get a vacant seat at your table, you can say "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I need that seat.

I'm waiting for someone."



Note: "I'm afraid" doesn't mean that there is any feeling of fear.

It is just a polite way of giving bad news in English.

ポイント:この場合では、「I'm afraid~」とは「恐れている」という意味ではありません。



Please try using these phrases when you need to ask permission for something.