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"Will you" vs "Can you" A friend of mine told me that saying "Can you help me?" is not correct, because it implies that you're not sure if the person you're talking to is physically able to help you, so you should say "Will you help me?" instead. Is it true? I know that "I can" means "I'm able to", but I always thought "Can you help me?" was the most used form. So what is the main difference between "can" and "will"? Could you give me some examples too? Thanks :) Matteo
24 февр. 2012 г., 9:30
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Answers · 5
Your friend is technically correct, although I might use "would" instead of "will", but using "can" is actually a little more polite. It is a little more deferential. One might also ask, "Could you help me, please?" Don't forget the magic word.
24 февраля 2012 г.
Thank you for your explenation, Claire! :D Matteo
24 февраля 2012 г.
Randy is correct. This also applies to, e.g., "Can I open the window?" vs. "May I open the window?" The first would imply that you might not be physically capable of opening the window, whereas the second is a request for permission to open the window. However, native speakers use "can" in this example all the time, and it's accepted as standard English now.
24 февраля 2012 г.
It is more polite to say can/could almost exactly for the reason your friend says it is not correct. Think about it. If you ask someone 'Will you help me?' and they say 'no', this is a refusal. They will not help you. If you ask 'Can you help me?' and they say 'no', there is an excuse already supplied. They can't do it :)))) And as Randy says, never forget 'please'.
24 февраля 2012 г.
The most used form is "Help me!"
24 февраля 2012 г.
Polpo90
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English, Italian
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