Permission – Can, Could, May

Can I go to the party?

When we ask for permission to do something we use cancouldmay. May is the most formal.


Can I go to the party?
Could I ask a question?
May I sit here?


If we want to be more polite we can use the following construction:

Do you mind if I base form of verb
Do you mind if I open the window?
Do you mind if I sit here?
Do you mind if I ask you a question?