90

You can is giving permission. If that is the context - they have asked permission for something - it is fine (though you may is regarded as more polite). But when you are requesting something, you can is very condescending. It is something you say to a subordinate or servant, not to an independent person providing a service.


44

Server: Are you ready to order? a. Client: Yes. Can you give me hamburger and chips, please? b. Client: Yes. You can give me hamburger and chips (NO) 1 b. To tell someone to give you something, is considered rude and very bad mannered when ordering food or beverages in an establishment. Server: Are you ready to order? Client: Yes. Could/may ...


34

Both of these are perfectly correct. You could also say "How many psychologists are necessary to change a light bulb?" or "How many psychologists are required to change a light bulb?" However, as Willow pointed out, "How many X does it take to change a lightbulb?" is a formulaic phrasing for the setup line of a group of similar jokes. It's always said that ...


30

This answer is written from my perspective as an American. I think that usually, saying "you can" is likely to sound rude. If you say "You can get me the check," it may sound like you're sarcastically saying, "I want the check, but since you haven't given me the check, you must have been unaware of the fact that you can get me the check." On the other hand,...


22

The OP's question involves the topic of interrogative pronouns (e.g. "who" and "what") and the question of whether they could be considered to be singular or plural. In general, the interrogative pronoun "who" takes the default value of singular; and when it does take the value of singular, its question can allow both singular and plural answers. And so, ...


13

Who has already read three English novels? Who is the unspecified grammatical subject of the verb that follows and the usage is to have the verb in the singular. I do say it is based on common usage and not sustained by a grammatical rule. Theoretically, if we ask the question we do not know in advance how many individuals will be concerned and the ...


13

The basic (declarative) sentence is: He does not know. You can turn this into an interrogative clause with subject-auxiliary inversion. Just switch he and does: Does he not know? You can optionally replace does not with doesn't in the original sentence, using the suffix -n't rather than the word not: He doesn't know. Now the auxiliary is the ...


13

The first and the third are correct, but mean different things: When is the bank open? Answer: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm. When does the bank open? Answer: Tomorrow at 8am. The first question asks for the bank's business hours, the other for the point in time when the bank opens up for the day. Edit as requested: When is the bank opened? ...


13

"It takes x to y" is extremely common, and I'm surprised that you haven't met it before. It is certainly not confined to light-bulb jokes! It means "x is necessary in order to y." Here are some examples: It takes courage to do what you did. It takes a lot to rattle her. It takes at least a week to acclimatise to the altitude. And of course: ...


11

I know who I want to take home. You want to take someone home. And you know who that is. *I know who want to take me home. I know who wants to take me home. Someone wants to take you home. And you know who that is. I know who I want to take me home. You want to go home with someone. And you know who that is.


10

The rule is: Subordinate questions have no inversion of subject and verb as in independent questions. So the following examples are correct: What is it? (Subject placed after the verb) Do you know what it is? (In the subordinate question normal word order subject verb)


10

All three are grammatically correct, but they have different meanings. 1) When is the bank open? This is asking for the hours during which the bank is open. Another way to say this is "What are the bank's hours?", or "What hours is the bank open?" 2) When is the bank opened? This is talking about opening as an action someone carries out. The ...


10

"Where" is a word meaning place or location. "In" is superfluous when asking about the location that way. It would be necessary if you asked about a town or district because then you need the preposition: What town do you live in? but if you want to start the question with "where", it simply should be Where do you live?


10

Because you're using "taste", you need to use "did". Did the cheese taste delicious? However, if you omit "taste", you would use "was". I would argue that this form is much more common because, in general, "taste" is implied with "delicious". Was the cheese delicious? The former would be more (or at least equally) common if you used just about any ...


9

Only option 1 is correct. -Who here has been to France before? -He has. -I have. Maybe both are correct in the other guys' dialects, but certainly in British English, only your first option is correct. "Who here have read...?" is wrong. Examples of when you might hear "who have" together? When using the present perfect progressive (I/we/...


9

Yes, because "take" can mean "require." If three psychologists are standing in line, it's like taking one out of the line to change the light bulb. "It" standing for the task. It's informal, but it is still correct as a sentence.


9

You appear to have misidentified the subject of the sentence. In questions, word order is often inverted. The subject of the sentence is the word "it," not "many" or "psychologists." The verb must agree in number with the subject. If you were to answer the question, you would say "It takes five psychologists to screw in a light bulb." Hence the correct ...


9

Yes and no: it is meaningful, but you have to interpret it in a very specific way. The context is about the difference between -something you know (for example, a password) -something you have (for example, a key) -something you are (that is, you yourself!) The article starts by mentioning how we deal with how you prove something you know or something ...


9

I agree with the first part of stangdon's answer: The context is about the difference between something you know (for example, a password) something you have (for example, a key) I have a slightly different take on the "how you do you" part, though; I interpret that to mean that there is some kind of security mechanism based on how you ...


8

Both are correct but the use of any makes it a bit more welcoming in a sense that you will answer all questions on the subject.


7

Michael Swan explains this clearly in his Practical English Usage (2005.481). When who, which, what or whose is the subject (or part of the subject), do is not normally used: Compare: Who phoned? (Who is the subject.) Who did you phone? (Who is the object.) [...] But do can be used after a subject question word for emphasis, to ...


7

When we make yes/no questions in English, we usually invert the subject and the auxiliary verb. The auxiliary verb and the subject change places. In the sentence: He is calling me. The subject is he and the auxiliary is is. If we make a normal yes/no question, he and is change places like this: Is he calling me? Notice that we cannot move the words ...


7

No, this is not grammatically correct. Here are some ways you could modify it to make it so: "Guys, did any one of you find my pencil box today in our class?" (note the space between 'any' and 'one' in this version) "Guys, did anyone find my pencil box today in our class?" "Guys, has anyone found my pencil box from our class today?" "Guys, have any one of ...


7

There is some difference in usage between how about and what about. If you are planning something with a friend and you want to raise some potential problem, you would only use what about- effectively as a short form for what shall we do about.... If you want to suggest a new idea or a possible solution to a problem, you can use either what about or how ...


7

TL;DR; You should use "did", because your main verb is preceded by no auxiliaries. There's a phenomenon in questions called 'subject–auxiliary inversion'. You already probably know what a subject is; it's "Max" in "Max had lunch in a restaurant." 'auxiliary' is a type of verb, but not the normal type. You're familiar with auxiliaries as well; one ...


7

This is a very simple example of subject–auxiliary inversion, and it is required in most interrogative sentences in English. The subject and the auxiliary verb appear in the reverse of the order in which they would appear in a declarative. Consider the following declarative version of your interrogative: YouSUBJECT doAUXILIARY notNEGATIVE give him your ...


6

I did not get your question fully, but I think you are confused with the structure of a question - How can I Vs. How I can. I'm answering that way. When asking a question, the pronouns should be followed by an (auxiliary) verb. So, the structure in general is - What/How/Which etc. + verb + pronoun A simple example is - What can you do for me? If you ...


6

Number 1 is most used in verbal and writing. Number 2 is not really a good/correct sentence. I could see a sentence like that being said in verbal communication, but not written. For example, someone could say Do you know then pause for a while like they are thinking about something, and then say Where does Susan work?. But it would still be more ...


6

When asking a question like this, think of how you would answer the question. Correct: [What do you think] [my name is]? The answer is, "[My name is] Keiki." [How do you think] [it is done]? The answer is, "[It is done] like this." [Does anyone remember how] [we connected to the server]? The answer is, "[We connected to the server] like this." ...


6

All the answers here are excellent. By now, you should have figured out that "you can" is a direct order, which is considered rude, and requests are polite (as they are in many other countries). So let me just add as a cultural studies scholar -- in cities where they're used to international visitors, most servers will make allowances, simply assuming you're ...


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