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I was wondering if someone could tell me which answer of the questions bellow sounds incorrect grammatically from among the following list:

  • Could I ask you something? → Yes, of course you could.

  • May I ask you something? → Yes, of course you may.

  • I wonder if I might ask you something? → Yes, of course you might.

For me only the answer to the first question grammatically appears to be incorrect. Do you agree with me?

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Ordinarily, I think, most speakers would translate the 'remote' modals (past forms signifying tentativity or indirectness) in #1 and #3 into ordinary indicatives:

  • Yes, of course you can.
  • Yes, of course you may.

But it's not at all a hard-and-fast rule.

  • Do you mean that in reply to the third sentence I have to answer with 'may' as well? – A-friend Oct 21 '14 at 0:49
  • @A-friend Yes. Your might expresses an unwillingness to demand; the answering may expresses a willingness to grant. – StoneyB Oct 21 '14 at 2:20
  • Strictly speaking "I wonder if I might ask you something?" is not a question at all. And a confirmation to it is "of course you do (wonder)". :-) – Victor Bazarov Oct 24 '15 at 12:18

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