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Asking for permission
We use can to ask for permission to do something:
Can I ask a question, please?
Can we go home now?
could is more formal and polite than can:
Could I ask a question, please?
Could we go home now?
may is another more formal and polite way of asking for permission:
May I ask a question, please?
May we go home now?
Asking for permission 2
We use can to give permission:
You can go home now.
You can borrow my pen if you like.
may is a more formal and polite way of giving permission:
We use can to say that someone has permission to do something:
We can go out whenever we want.
Students can travel for free.
may is a more formal and polite way of saying that someone has permission:
Students may travel for free.
We use can’t and may not to refuse permission or say that someone does not have permission:
You can’t go home yet.
Students may not travel for free.
Asking for permission to do something takes many different forms. Perhaps you need to get permission to do something at work, or perhaps you need to ask a friend for permission to use one of her possessions, or maybe you need to ask the teacher if you can leave room for a moment or two. Remember to use polite forms when asking for permission to do something or use an object as you are asking a favor of that person.
How to Ask for Permission in English
Can I + verb (very informal)
- Can I go out tonight?
- Can he have dinner with us?
NOTE: The use of “Can I do something?” is very informal, and considered incorrect by many. However, it is used in everyday informal speech and for that reason has been included.
May I + verb
- May I have another piece of pie?
- May we go out with our friends tonight?
NOTE: Traditionally, the use of “May I do something?” has been used for asking permission. In modern society, this form has become a little more formal and is often replaced with other forms such as “Can I. ” and “Could I . ” Many argue that “Can I . ” is incorrect because it refers to ability. However, this form is quite common in everyday, spoken situations.
Could I please + verb
- Could I please go with Tom to the movie?
- Could we please go on trip this weekend?
Do you think I could + verb
- Do you think I could use your cell phone?
- Do you think I could borrow your car?
Would it be possible for me + infinitive
- Would it be possible for me to use your computer for a few minutes?
- Would it be possible for to study in this room?
Would you mind if I + verb in past
- Would you mind if I stayed a few more minutes?
- Would you mind if I took a five minute break?
Would you mind my + verb + ing + your + object
- Would you mind my using your cellphone?
- Would you mind my playing your piano?
How to Grant Permission in English
If you would like to say “yes” to someone who asks permission, you can give permission using these phrases. The first three are more informal, while the fourth is formal.
- No problem.
- Go right ahead.
- Please feel free + infinitive
How to Politely Refuse a Favor/Deny Permission
Saying ‘no’, is never fun, but sometimes it’s necessary. See the conversations below for some examples.
- I’m afraid I’d prefer if you didn’t / don’t.
- Sorry, but I’d rather you not do that.
- Unfortunately, I need to say no.
- I’m afraid that’s not possible.
When denying permission, people will sometimes instead offer to help in other ways, using the words “how about” and “instead” to offer alternatives.
- I’m afraid I can’t let you borrow my car, but I could drive you instead.
- I can’t babysit your daughter. How about I call my sitter for you instead?
- I wish I could help out; maybe another time.
Sample Dialogues for Practice: Asking for Permission Which Is Given
- Jack: Hi Sam, do you think I could use your cell phone for a moment?
- Sam: Sure, no problem. Here you are.
- Jack: Thanks buddy. It will only be a minute or two.
- Sam: Take your time. No rush.
- Jack: Thanks!
- Student: Would it be possible for me to have a few more minutes to review before the quiz?
- Teacher: Please feel free to study for a few more minutes.
- Student: Thank you very much.
- Teacher: No problem. Do you have any questions in particular?
- Student: Uh, no. I just need to review things quickly.
- Teacher: OK. We’ll begin in five minutes.
- Student: Thank you.
Example Situations: Asking for Permission Which Is Denied
In this example, an employee is asking for time away from work.
- Employee: Would you mind if I came in late to work tomorrow?
- Boss: I’m afraid I’d prefer if you didn’t.
- Employee: Hmmm. What if I work overtime tonight?
- Boss: Well, I really need you for the meeting tomorrow. Is there any way you can do whatever it is you need to do later.
- Employee: If you put it that way, I’m sure I can figure something out.
- Boss: Thanks, I appreciate it.
This example shows a father telling his son that he can’t go out because of his recent academic performance.
- Son: Dad, can I go out tonight?
- Father: It’s a school night! I’m afraid that’s not possible.
- Son: Dad, all my friends are going to the game!
- Father: I’m sorry, son. Your grades haven’t been the best recently. I’m going to have to say no.
- Son: Ah, Dad, come on! Let me go!
- Father: Sorry son, no is no.
Find a partner and use these suggestions to practice asking for permission, as well as giving and denying permission as shown in the examples. Make sure to vary the language you use when practicing rather than using the same phrase over and over again.
Periods. Where do they come from? And w hat do they want?
Nobody knows for sure, b ut we have reason to believe that some of the people who took this year’s bar exam might have been planning to have their periods during the test as a way of cheating somehow perhaps.
Thankfully, a bunch of states have stepped in to prevent the would-be cheating scandal, instituting rules banning men strual products from exam roo ms and requiring aspiring lawyers to ask permission to change their tampons and pads.
Here are a couple of precautionary measures that some of those states are taking , according to the American Civil Liberties Union :
- West Virginia has explicitly prohibited “feminine hygiene products.” If you need a tampon or pad during the exam (suspicious) , you have to ask one of the proctors for one.
- Montana does not include menstrual products on its list of permitted test room items. It also does not say whether you can ask a pr octor for a menstw ual pad , pwease.
- One Nebraska law school grad who took the bar exam earlier this year said she had to ask permission in order to change her tampon more frequently than every two hours. Thank god for these rules!!
Some states also have great necessary rules around b reast milk, another mysterious body fluid with no known traceable origin (ghosts??) that nonetheless helps people cheat on their lawyer exams I feel .
Administrators in Oklahoma, for example, refused to give one test taker an extra few minutes to finish pumping her breast milk following her 15-minute break.
Great job, everyone! This is good.
Freelance journalist (GQ, W, Esquire, elsewhere), here on weekends
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Bar exams are ableist as fuck (also racist and classist) and should just be permanently canceled. What it really tests is your ability to pay a bar prep company thousands of dollars , take two months off to study full-time, memorize books worth of outdated and unnecessary law, and then sit still for 2-3 days, 8 hours a day, in a room of 1000 people with limited or no access to food, water, and yes necessary hygiene supplies.
Even in the middle of a pandemic, state bar associations are still showing themselves to be comically out of touch and ill-equipped to adapt. For example, here’s Tennesee’s fantastically stupid – and ADA-violating – rules for their online bar exam:
“Don’t look up, down, or the side for more than a few seconds as it could look like you are cheating”
“Don’t fidget, touch your face, or twirl your hair”
“Do not be out of the frame of the camera at any time”
More from Bleed Eco
I was 12 years old when I got my first period. As is the norm in India, I was handed a sanitary pad by my mother and instructions to use it. Five years later, I came across a video by Buzzfeed India comparing reusable pads and menstrual cups.
Finding About Menstrual Cup, A Miraculous Invention Of Humankind
This was a landmark video in my life because that was the first time I came to know that there were options to take care of period blood other than pads and tampons, and excited with the news, I ran to my mother telling her about these menstrual cups and asking for her permission to shift to these miraculous inventions of humankind. I was sure that she would be enthusiastic as well and say yes. However, my mother was strictly against it.
“Why, mamma!?” I whined just about being told to shut up with a glare. I never brought that topic up again but never stopped thinking about it either. It kept on bugging me. Pads, on the one hand, are usually handed to girls in India when they have their first period, and most of them continue using them for their lifetime.
Representational Image. I ran to my mother telling her about these menstrual cups and asking for her permission to shift to these miraculous inventions of humankind..
Traditionally, pads are an absorbent item worn externally to absorb period blood. They are made from various materials depending on style, type, and country of origin. At the moment, there are mainly two types of sanitary napkins- Disposable and Reusable.
As is evident from the name, disposable pads are meant to be thrown away after use. The main materials that make a disposable pad include bleached rayon (cellulose made from wood pulp), cotton, and plastics. In some cases, fragrance and antibacterial agents are also added.
Disposable pads can be panty liners, ultra-thin, regular, super, overnight, and maternity. Each type has its unique quality and use. These pads, however, have to be thrown away after just one use and are said to be ecologically harmful.
Period Poverty Is Still Very Much Prevalent In India
Moreover, the garbage collectors at the dump have to take it off by hand, and that challenges their health as well. India is a country where period poverty is very much present, and not many menstruators have the purchasing capital to buy sanitary napkins every few months.
Therefore, they often wear ragged clothes instead of pads. While this is a prototype for reusable pads, it is very unhygienic and a cause for a lot of health problems. Reusable pads, as the name suggests, are pads that can be used again. They are made using a cloth and are meant to be washed and used again.
The wings are mostly wound around the underwear with buttons or velcro or, in the case of wingless ones, are just held in place between the body and underwear. While it is safe for the environment, friendly to the pockets (comparatively), they are not very effective in absorbing a menstruator’s period blood.
According to Aishwarya from Buzzfeed India, they were the cause of a very stressful period. Her complaints included them being not absorbent enough, constantly turning around, and the stains not going away despite washing them five to six times. Overall the reviews have been similar, pointing towards an ineffective product of absorbing menstrual blood.
Why Menstrual Cup Is Gaining More Popularity Among Menstruators
The next most popular period product is tampons. Unlike a sanitary pad, tampons have to be inserted inside the vagina. If it is correctly inserted, it will absorb blood and start expanding.
However, alongside period blood, it will also absorb your natural vaginal lubricant, thereby changing the pH levels, increasing the chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS that is a life-threatening disease Lack of proper disposal options is another problem that endangers the environment.
Now, moving on to menstrual cups, which are gaining popularity among menstruators gradually. It is a bell-shaped cup that collects the menstrual blood and the stem that is used to handle the cup easily.
Unlike pads and tampons, a menstrual cup does not absorb period blood but collects it and has to be emptied after every 4-12 hours, after which it should be cleaned and inserted again.
Menstrual Cups Are Safer Than Pads And Tampons
Menstrual cups seem comparatively better than pads and tampons. While a menstrual cup costs a bit higher than pads and tampons when first bought, given the fact that one cup lasts for about 10 years, in the long term, menstrual cups make a smaller hole in our pocket.
It is also safer than pads and tampons, and unlike tampons, that like menstrual cups need to be inserted into the vagina, cases of toxic shock syndrome are very rare with menstrual cups. It is also environmentally safe, especially with the new biodegradable cups.
Comparing these three obviously declare menstrual cups as the winner. However, every menstruator also needs to consider various factors such as access to water, hygiene, and the course of the flow. However, it is advisable that every menstruator studies up on different period products and also teaches the same to the next generation.
Each of these products has advantages and disadvantages, and hence every menstruator needs to make an educated choice. So, let’s hope for a future where a menstruator is not merely handed a sanitary pad forever and for my mother’s permission allowing me to shift to menstrual cups.
Brooke Pelczynski / The Balance
When you’re starting a job search, it’s important to line up people who can attest to your abilities and qualifications. Many companies will ask you to include a list of references with your job application or provide them during the interview process.
If you have references ready in advance, it will help speed up the hiring process and avoid scrambling to find people who can attest to your qualifications at the last minute.
Types of References You Can Use
References are people who can speak highly of you and your character (a personal reference) and/or about your work experience, job qualifications, and skills (an employment reference). Hiring managers often contact your references by phone or via email to get a sense of you as a job candidate.
Always ask permission before using someone as a reference during your job search. That way, they can expect to be contacted and will be prepared to discuss your qualifications for a job.
You can ask someone to serve as a reference with a formal letter sent by mail or an email message. Get detailed tips on how to write a letter requesting permission to use someone as a reference.
How to Choose the Best References
It’s important to choose whom to ask wisely. Typically, you need to provide potential employers with three references. Make sure to select people who will give you a glowing reference. Think about people who can speak to your skills and qualifications for the position.
However, this does not mean they all have to be former employers. You can also use business acquaintances, professors, clients, or vendors as references. If you have limited work contacts, you might also ask someone for a personal reference. In some circumstances, you may be able to ask a friend to give you a reference.
How to Ask for a Reference
Phrase your request carefully. Try to phrase your request in a way that does not make the person feel put on the spot. Rather than simply saying, “Will you be a reference for me?” ask them whether they feel qualified or comfortable providing you with a reference. This gives them an opportunity to say no if they do not feel like they could provide you with a strong, positive reference.
Include all the details. Be sure to include all information that the person needs in order to give you a proper reference. It’s a good idea to include a copy of your resume with your request, so your reference giver will have your most current employment history. You should also tell the person what jobs you are applying for, so they can begin to think of how they might answer certain questions.
Use postal mail or email. You can send your request via regular mail (if you can wait a couple of days before sending your list of references), or by email. If you’re using email, put your name and request in the subject line, so your message gets opened:
Subject: Your Name – Reference Permission
Edit your correspondence carefully. Because you are asking this person to speak to your professional qualifications, be sure you come across as professional in your letter. Read through the letter for any spelling or grammar errors. If you send a letter by mail, make sure you use business letter format.
Say thank you. After the person agrees to be a reference for you, be sure to send a note to thank them for their help. Read here for sample thank-you notes. Also, take the time to let the person know if you get the position they recommended you for.
Letter Sample Requesting Permission to Use a Reference
This is a reference request letter example. Download the reference request letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Letter Requesting Permission to Use a Reference (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
I hope you are well. I would appreciate your assistance with my job search. I am in the process of relocating to New York City, and I am searching for a position in online media.
With your permission, I would like to use you as a reference who can speak to my qualifications, skills, and abilities. Of course, I would advise you when I have given out your name and contact information, so you will know when to expect a call. Please let me know if you would be comfortable providing a reference for me.
Advice and suggestions on the best way to conduct my job search would also be appreciated. If you are aware of any job openings that I might be qualified for, I would be grateful if you shared this information with me.
I have attached my most recent resume for your review. Please let me know if you need any other information from me.
An individual might need to write a permission request letter at some point in life and therefore, it is important to know how to write this letter. For some people it would be quite tough; however, using the Permission Request Letter guide can make things quite easy for the user.
Here are letter format and samples to help you.
Permission Request Letter Format
Date (Mention the date of writing the letter)
Subject: Permission Request Letter
I, (insert name of person writing the letter), working as a (insert designation or title) am writing this letter to you (name of person who is addressed) to kindly grant me permission for a leave of 5 days as my sister is getting married and I have to move out of town for the wedding. I assure you that my absence will not affect the ongoing project.
I am hoping to receive a positive reply from your side.
Letter of Permission Request Form
A letter of permission request form as the name suggests would be in the format of a form with blank spaces against certain titles like name, address, course name and number, institution address, and so much more. It would show student ID number and student reference number as well. When preparing a letter of permission request form, a sample would be of great help.
Request for Letter of Permission
Copyright Permission Request Letter
Permission Request Letter (PDF)
A landowner permission request letter as the name suggests would be addressed to a landowner asking him or her for the permission of using the land. The purpose could be a survey or anything important and writing a letter would assist in getting permission.
Sample Permission Request Letter
Request for Recommendation for Transcript
A request for the recommendation for transcript would be written by a parent asking for the letter of recommendation and transcript for their ward. It would highlight what documents are important and thus, using a sample for this kind of letter would be helpful.
Permission to Access Records Request Letter
Collage Library Permission Request Letter
Publisher Permission Request Letter
As the name suggests, a publisher permission request letter would be for a publisher and seeking his/her, permission would be important for a certain cause or using the certain material. Following the sample guide can be of great help.
Posted on November 7, 2014 by Jan Wilberg
Women who are homeless suffer a lot of indignities. One of them is being without tampons and pads when their periods occur. Put yourself in their place. How would you feel?
Homeless shelters do a tremendous job of providing a safe place to sleep and a warm meal but they often have to rely on what is donated to them. Funding sources don’t generally include a tampon and pad line item. And frankly, it just doesn’t occur to most people to donate menstrual supplies. Who wants to drive up to a shelter with a bag full of tampons when winter coats and mittens seem so much more essential?
If you’re somebody who thinks it’s important to help homeless women keep their dignity by having access to clean, safe menstrual supplies, then you should think about doing a tampon and pad donation drive in your town. Here’s my quick guidebook:
1. Talk to your local women’s shelter first. Connect with the executive director or volunteer coordinator and tell them what you want to do. This is important because when you solicit donations, you will want to say where the donations will be going. So having a shelter on board, basically saying that you can use their name in your asks, is essential. This gave donors confidence that their contribution would end up in the right place.
3. Fire up the social media engine. Before you do anything, you need to have a decent number of Facebook friends or other social media followers. If you’re a little weak on that front, partner with one or two other people who have a lot of followers. Then in terms of social media strategy: first, I messaged every female Facebook friend who I thought would possibly donate or organize a donation drive at her office. Second, I posted Facebook updates about the drive, not just asking people for donations but posting pictures of anyone who donated and tagging them to make sure the photo had the widest possible circulation.
4. Encourage group giving. One inspired person can inspire others if she thinks of it, like, ‘hey, wait, instead of just buying a couple of boxes of pads, I could get everybody in the office to buy a couple and then we’d have a big bag to donate!’ Talk to your friends and colleagues about hosting a drive at their place of work, church, or club. I bring them a box and flyers to help in their outreach. Promising to come back and pick up the box is key, though, so be prepared for some heavy lifting!
5. Make it easy to donate. I offered to drive anywhere to pick up a donation. I also had a box on my front porch labeled Time of the Month Club where people could leave donations night or day. Some people wanted to take their donations directly to the shelter. That’s fine but I encouraged people to bring them to me so I could keep a count, bag up donations in consistent amounts, and drop them off gradually so as not to swamp the shelter.
6. Thank donors A LOT. I thanked donors and am still trying to come up with ways to thank them. I’m not done yet on that front. I thanked them in person, via email, and on Facebook. Facebook was huge because it had the effect of reminding people of the donation drive but with a new face. Every time someone handed me a bag or a box, I’d ask to take their picture and ask if it was okay for me to post it. Most people said yes when I told them that other people would be inspired by seeing that they had donated.
7. Keep track. Time of the Month Club collects close to 50,000 tampons and pads over the course of a year. That’s a lot of misery and embarrassment avoided. In addition to keeping count, write down who donated, especially those who organized mini drives at their offices, book clubs or among their friends. This will be useful information if you decide to do a second drive.
Time of the Month Club is really about sisterhood. Maybe we haven’t all shared the experience of homelessness, but we have shared this: We are women. We menstruate. It needs to be dealt with in a way that allows us to carry on with life. If our homeless sisters don’t have what they need, those of us who are housed can ante up. It’s that simple really.
If you decide to do a drive, let me know. If you have questions, ask me. You can reach me via email at [email protected]
Go forth. Collect. Have fun.
Most homeless shelters don’t provide sanitary products, and students in New York City’s public school system who get their periods have to go to the nurse to get a tampon or pad. Now city lawmakers want to change that.
On Tuesday, City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito introduced a package of legislation that would ensure that shelters and schools provide free sanitary products. It would also help ensure that they are adequately available to women in the correctional system.
Homeless shelters rarely get donations of tampons and pads, and shelters will only be able to use funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy products starting April after Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) persuaded officials to change the rules. Meanwhile, government programs like food stamps or WIC won’t cover them, so homeless people often struggle to afford the basic necessity. One piece of the new legislative package would require the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide sanitary products to all women in temporary homeless shelters.
Another bill in the package would ensure that all city schools have enough sanitary products to give them to all students for free, covering 270,570 girls. The city is already experimenting with offering free tampons and pads in 25 high schools in mostly low-income neighborhoods. A previous and much smaller pilot program in one city high school increased girls’ attendance and fewer requests to be excused during the day, according to city lawmakers.
The third bill in the package would require the Department of Correction to give all female inmates pads or tampons when they request them and offer name-brand products through the commissary. Currently, the department only gives jails and prisons 144 generic pads per week per 50 inmates, or about 12 pads per woman per cycle, no matter what the actual needs of the inmates may be. Ferreras-Copeland told the New York Times that the current formula is “ridiculous,” adding, “You don’t ration toilet paper or ask for permission for more toilet paper… You shouldn’t have to for these products.”
“These items are as essential as toilet paper, helping us prevent health risks and fulfill our daily activities uninterrupted,” Ferreras-Copeland said in a statement about the legislation. “No student, homeless individual or inmate should have to jump through hoops, face illness or feel humiliated because they cannot access pads or tampons.”
The whole legislative package is estimated to cost $5 million a year, and most of that budget would go toward the school system.
Ferreras-Copeland also said she could foresee introducing bills in the future to make free sanitary products available at city public hospitals, parks, and community programs. “This has been so taboo for so long, that no one even thought about it,” she said.
Ferreras-Copeland, Mark-Viverito, and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez also introduced a resolution calling on the New York State legislature to stop taxing sanitary products, similar to the lack of taxes on other necessities like groceries, prescription drugs, shampoo, and even condoms. The state is being sued by a group of women who has claimed that the so-called tampon tax is “a vestige of another era” and “serves no purpose other than to discriminate.” The state Assembly has unanimously passed a bill that would eliminate the tax, although it hasn’t yet passed the Senate. Only ten states exempt sanitary products from sales tax.