Modal Verbs of Permission

English Modal Verbs of Permission

English Modal Verbs of Permission

  • We use the modal CAN to talk about permission or ask for things at present.
  • We can also use COULD and MAY to talk general permission in the past. However we cannot use COUL or MAY to talk about permission for a particular action in the past.

Example Sentences

  • Can I ask a question?
  • Can I go outside, please?
  • Can I borrow your black coat?
  • Can I come in?
  • Can I hand in my assignment late?
  • Could my father join us tomorrow for dinner?
  • Could I borrow your book?


  • May I use your notebook?
  • May I go to the bathroom?
  • You may take this Saturday off from work.
  • You can use our resources for free.
  • You can come with us.
  • Passengers may sit anywhere.

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