Can you use "please" in the following sentence?

"Could I please send you a letter?"

I always thought you can't use "please" when you ask someone a permission to do. There are only two types of questions that you can add please, I thought.


  1. Could you please take that book for me? (When you ask someone to do something for you)
  2. Could I get another cup of tea, please? (When you want something from someone)

Thank you for your help!

  • Well the thing is that technically in your example sentence you are asking permission to do something: send a letter. You could certainly reword it so you're not doing so, like "I'm going to send you a letter." but phrasing actions being taken as requests is usually done out of politeness. Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 8:51
  • 1
    Your examples 1. and 2. are interrogatives, but they are not questions; they are directives (specifically, polite requests). You are not asking for answers; in 1. you are asking someone to take some book for you, and in 2. you are asking for another cup of tea. Same with examples like: "Could you please open the door?"; "Could you pass the salt please?"
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 8, 2016 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


In fact, you should always use "please" when you ask someone a permission a favor or something else.

So in your question : "Could I please send you a letter ?" as it requests an authorization from the recipient you may put here your please.

(However, I'd start with may instead of could, execept if your question is following ou implying a previous condition...)

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