Grammar 3-12 | High Beginner 3

Can - Permission / Requests

Listen to two conversations, one at a train station and one at a hotel, using can to ask for permission or a request.

Conversation 1 - Train Station

Clerk: Hello, can I help you?
Person: Yes, can you tell me when the next train leaves for Toronto?
Clerk: It leaves in twenty minutes.
Person: Great, can I get two tickets please?
Clerk: I can get you two seats, but they are not together.
Person: Oh, I see.
Clerk: I can get you seats next to each other on the next train.
Person: When does that leave?
Clerk: It leaves the next hour.
Person: Great, I will take that one then. Can I pay by debit card?
Clerk: I am sorry you can’t. You can pay by credit card though.
Person: OK, that will do. Can I get a receipt.
Clerk: Certainly. Of course!

Conversation 2 – Hotel

Guest: Hello, I’d like to check in.
Clerk: OK, can I get you name please?
Guest: It is Johnston. Joe Johnston.
Clerk: Great. Here is it. And can I get some form of ID.
Guest: Yes, here is my passport.
Clerk: Thank you. Can I make a copy of this? It is hotel policy.
Guest: Of course.
Clerk: And while I do this, can you fill this out?
Guest: Gladly. Can I borrow a pen?
Clerk: Yes, here you go. I’ll be right back.
Guest: OK, thank you.

Can for Permission

Can – 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?

Can – 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.