Grammar Talks 3-12 Can for Permission

House Guest

Katie talks with Todd about staying at his house.-

Katie: Hey Todd, can I ask you a favor?

Todd: Sure, anytime.

Katie: Um, I really need a place to stay, and I heard that your place is on AirBNB.

Todd: It is on AirBNB. I do rent my house, but for you it's free.

Katie: OH, amazing. Can I stay there then?

Todd: You can. How long?

Katie: Maybe a week or two weeks.

Todd: OK, when?

Katie: From next Monday.

Todd: Yeah, actually, you can do that. That works.

Katie: Excellent. Thank you so much! How about a car? Can I park my car?

Todd: Ah, that's a problem. You can't park your car because there's no space, but there's a cheap parking lot about maybe two blocks away.

Katie: OK.

Todd: So, it's only a couple dollars a day.

Katie: OK, I guess I can park my car there. How about cooking there? Can I cook?

Todd: Of course, you can cook. I have a stove, a frigerator. You can bring your own food. You can do whatever you want.

Katie: Excellent. Thank you. Can I use the Internet?

Todd: You can use the Internet. There's a password. I will write down the password before I leave, and I will write down the password before you get there.

Katie: Excellent. Thank you so much! I was thinking about asking my friend if he can stay. Can my friend stay over?

Todd: Yeah, sure, so your friend can stay. Not a problem I don't think.

Katie: He has a dog? Can he bring his dog?

Todd: Oh, that is a problem. Does the dog have a cage?

Katie: Ah, no, but we can get a cage.

Todd: I'm not sure about the dog. If the dog is in a cage, it's OK in the house but I think you can't have the dog in the house.

Katie: OK, how about smoking? My friend is a very heavy smoker. Can he smoke outside?

Todd: Yeah, he can smoke outside, just please pick up cigarette butts, but of course, he can't smoke inside.

Katie: OK, he can't smoke inside.

Todd: No.

Katie: OK, how about if we want to have a party? Can we have a party?

Todd: Yeah, you can have a party. That's OK, but please be quiet. Don't be too loud. The neighbors live very close to my house.

Katie: Alright, that sounds good. Thanks. And I have one more question. Can I use the washing machine?

Todd: Yeah, of course. You can use anything. You use the washing machine. You can use the Internet. You can use the TV. You can use anything you like.

Katie: Wow, excellent. That sounds great. Thank you so much.

Todd: Yeah, I will write down directions for my house, and I will send you a map, and you can check it out and get all the information, and just I will leave the key for you with my neighbor.

Katie: Excellent. Thank you very much!

Todd: Sure, no problem.


Request / Permission

Can I …?
Can I get a bigger room?
Can I pay by credit card?
Can I see you ID?
Cen I get a window seat?
Can I get you to sign here?

Ask for help

Can you …?
Can you help me?
Can you fill this out?
Can you speak slower?
Can you write that down for me?

Yes, response

Of course
Yes, you can. (not common)

No Response

I am afraid not.
I am sorry you can’t.
Unfortunately no.

No you can’t = less polite

Answer the following questions about the interview.

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