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  5. "Puis-je savoir pourquoi ?"

"Puis-je savoir pourquoi ?"

Translation:May I know why?

March 30, 2018


Sorted by top post


I was puzzled by the use of "puis" rather than "peux" in this example. I found this on Wiktionary.org: Puis (/pɥi/) is an archaic form of the first person present indicative peux. It is still used in inversion or with the conjunction si:

<pre>Puis-je vous aider? ― May I help you? Si je puis me permettre… ― If you don't mind… </pre>
April 3, 2018


Formal: Puis-je savoir pourquoi? Informal: Je peux savoir pourquoi? Formal: May I know why? Informal: Can I know why?

I'm not entirely convinced. I just put it out there.

May 19, 2018


For just a minute, you had me, it would be such a nice solution ... but then ... an objection: I could never formally ask anything that wasn't a question of permission. I could never say, for instance "Puis-je faire une difference?"

April 13, 2019


Puis-je was badly pronounced.

November 2, 2018


Could I know why? Why is this incorrect?

March 30, 2018


It's grammatically different. "puis-je" (the inversion for "je peux")/ "may I" is in present tense. "Could I" is in conditional.

March 30, 2018


The pronunciation is wrong.

April 5, 2018


The male voice for this phrase is very quiet for some reason

May 31, 2018


Why can't it be "May I understand why" ?

August 19, 2018


"Can I know why" is not accepted?

January 19, 2019


Je peux savoir pourquoi ?

February 27, 2019


I'm unclear what the distinction is. "May I" and "can I" are somewhat interchangeable in English, even if "may I" is technically more correct when asking a question.

February 27, 2019


There is a distinction in English between can and may although, you are right , it is not widely maintained nowadays. Technically, "can" implies ability to do something and "may" implies permission.

"Stop, Smith minor! I'm sure you can hit Jones major at 20 yards with your catapult - but you may not. Please get on with your work".

February 27, 2019


We would not normally say 'Can I know. why?' In English. We would say 'May I know why?' or 'would you tell me why?' But we just don't use the expression 'Can I ' in a sentence like this.

June 17, 2019
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