Can, could, and would modal auxiliary verbs are mainly used to express request in our daily interactions. But, all the three auxiliaries aren’t used for same nature of request. Let’s get clarity over Moodal auxiliary for request for confident use.
Can modal auxiliary for request
Apart from ability, “Can” modal auxiliary is generally used to express:-
- Slightly forcefulrequest,
- More basicrequest,
- For simple purpose or things,
Can modal auxiliary is used for less polite request compare to other auxiliaries -could and would.
1. Examples of can modal auxiliary
- Can I borrow your bike for a day?
- Can you tell them to keep quiet for a moment?
- Can you stop making excuses?
- Can you switch off your phone?
Such types of requests seem to basic or rather forceful, compare to could and would.
Request with “Could”
Usually, could modal auxiliary is used to express:-
- Normal request
- Less polite than would
- More polite than can.
1. Examples of could for request
- I haven’t received my salary yet. Could you lend me $100 for a week?
- I think it is going to rain now. Could you keep my mobile in your bag?
- I don’t know much about this city. Could you guide me about major places?
- It is too hot and humid today. Could you let me sit in your office for some time?
In all these examples, humbleness is clearly visible and could be felt easily.
Request with would modal auxiliary
This is the most popular modal auxiliary used for polite request. No doubt, widely preferred compare to “can and could”.
1. Examples would modal auxiliary for polite request
- I haven’t understood it properly. Would you please explain that again?
- I forgot to collect my luggage. Would you give me details of that bus, please?
- To keep our environment clean is our moral duty. Would you mind helping us to clean out the park?
Wherever we use “please” after inverted subject, comma isn’t necessary; but, comma is essential when we use at the end.
But, among can, could, and would, for polite request, would is highly preferred and recommended.