Asking for and giving permissions in English (EFL/ESL speaking lessons)

Asking for and giving permissions in English (EFL/ESL English speaking lessons) 

What is permission?

Permission (the verb is: permit) is the act of allowing someone to do something. (Permission is given by people who have a certain kind of authority such as a director, teacher, parent… etc.).

How would you ask for permission in English? If someone asked you, how would you respond? In this lesson, you will be introduced to some of the expressions you can use. In English, there are many examples that you can use to express permission. But, these are the most common ones.

Asking for permission in English

  • Can I + verb (infinitive)…?
  • May I + verb (infinitive)…?
  • Would you mind if I + verb (infinitive)…?
  • Is it possible to + verb (infinitive)…?
  • Is it Okay to + verb (infinitive)…?
  • Am I allowed to + verb (infinitive)…?
  • Am I permitted to + verb (infinitive)…?

Giving permission in English

  • Yes, sure.
  • Sure
  • OK
  • Of course
  • No problem
  • It’s fine
  • Please, take your freedom
  • Be my guest

Refusing to give permissions in English

  • Sorry, you are not allowed
  • Very sorry. That’s not possible
  • Impossible
  • I can’t allow you to do that
  • Please, don’t do that.
  • You can’t

Examples of asking and responding to permission in English 

  • A: Can I go out, sir?
  • B: Yes, of course
  • A: Please, May I leave the room?
  • B: I’m afraid I can’t allow doing that.     
  • A: Is it possible to say a word to the audience?
  • B: Please, be my guest.



Check you understanding


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