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My Grandchildren say "May you pass the salt" etc. They say their teachers say this is ok. To me it sounds very clumsy and I had never heard it used except by them. They have grown in Wiltshire while we are south Hampshire. Is it regional?

marked as duplicate by Kristina Lopez, bib, Edwin Ashworth, user66974, Chenmunka Sep 5 '14 at 12:20

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    And you don't even mention "can you pass me ...", which is what I say. This might be hypercorrection for "don't use can for permission; use may", although it's more likely just a regionalism. – Peter Shor Sep 4 '14 at 22:31
  • What about "Would you pass the salt, please?" – Jim Sep 4 '14 at 23:22
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    Using May sounds like a blessing- May you have good fortune in the years to come. "May you pass the salt." "Yes, thank you, I'm looking forward to being able to do that soon." – Jim Sep 4 '14 at 23:25
  • On the other hand, "You mayn't pass the salt" sounds like a command to keep the salt to yourself. – Sven Yargs Sep 4 '14 at 23:32
  • @Jim (comment 1) Yes, I think that's the usual polite request (hedged) way. Clear enunciation always sounds a little high-faluting to my ears, though: I usually try for a hybrid between 'will' and 'would' (which probably usually turns out too low-faluting). – Edwin Ashworth Sep 5 '14 at 3:20

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