HomeQ&ACan I have a beer?

Can I have a beer?

7
votes

Can I have a beer?

Can I have two beers?

Is the second sentence correct?

18660 views
updated FEB 7, 2011
edited by swing
posted by nila45
yes - Izanoni1, ABR 21, 2010
but you forgot to say "please" ;) - Izanoni1, ABR 21, 2010
Hah-hah, hah! Manners are ever so important! - Gekkosan, ABR 21, 2010
"Can I have two beers, please?" - W_N_Gibbetts, ABR 21, 2010
I'll have a coffee, please. - Gekkosan, ABR 21, 2010

9 Answers

5
votes

Actually, neither is truly correct. In English the proper, but not common, request is "may I have a beer?" or "may I have two beers"? I don't think there is an equivalent in Spanish.

updated FEB 7, 2011
posted by ocbizlaw
Oh yes, 3d grade. "can I have a drink of water?" I don't know, can you. - AJbeach, ABR 24, 2010
The subjunctive mood (e.g. after que) is sometimes used for "may"/"might". - 0074b507, ABR 25, 2010
5
votes

Actually, now that I think about it, as qfreed pointed out, there is an equivalent to "may I have" in Spanish by using the subjunctive but it needn't follow "qué":

"Pudieras darme una cerveza, por favor?"

Roughly (and sort of idiomatically), "could you kindly give me a beer please."

updated ABR 26, 2010
edited by ocbizlaw
posted by ocbizlaw
¿Podría darme un cerveza, por favor?. - Si pudiera darme una cerveza, por favor - ¿Puede darme una cereza, por favor?. The word "pudiera" is not for a question. Take this into account. - nila45, ABR 26, 2010
3
votes

Can and May and Could

Can is related to ability (habilidad)

May is related to permission. (permiso)

But we interchange them all the time.

"Could I have a beer?" is also used and for some reason considered more polite than can.

updated ABR 25, 2010
edited by ian-hill
posted by ian-hill
1
vote

Whereas! We colonials just say "give us a beer thanks" and keep em coming. We never put please at the end always thanks even before we receive the beer. This is in a Hotel of course . tongue wink

updated ABR 24, 2010
posted by ray76
1
vote

Depends who you're asking. Are you in the local bar or in someone's home? If you're in the bar, are you asking the bartender/waiter/waitress or a person you'r with.

In every case it would be good to say "please" either before or after - "please can I have a beer (or two)" most likely addressed to your friend or "can I have a beer please" addressed to the bartender etc.

As always, the best solution is to listen to what other folk say and copy it (well unless they get a black eye - lol).

...and if you want to sound a little more macho you can always say to the bartender "I'll have a beer (two beers) please".

updated ABR 24, 2010
edited by geofc
posted by geofc
1
vote

Some smart a@# may respond, "I don't know, can you?" Technically, "can" means "able to", where "may" means "allowed to". In day-to-day conversation, most people use "can", even if it isn't technically correct.

updated ABR 24, 2010
posted by DR1960
true, jeje, may is so seldom used..... - 00494d19, ABR 21, 2010
1
vote

The more correct and polite word to use when requesting something is "may."

However, you hear "can" and "may" used interchangeably in everyday speech. So much for politeness...

updated ABR 21, 2010
posted by LaBurra
Especially when speaking to a bartender. - samdie, ABR 21, 2010
1
vote

Both are correct.

updated ABR 21, 2010
edited by BellaMargarita
posted by BellaMargarita
0
votes

It's fine.You could also say, "Two beers please" Pero, cuidado, van a decir "What kind of beer? "Lager" es como San Miguel etc. So you could say "Two bottles of lager please..." Y ahora van a preguntar, "Stella, etc.." preguntando como, Estrella? San Miguel? etc.

updated ABR 21, 2010
edited by lagartijaverde
posted by lagartijaverde
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