Beg your leave

jiey

Member
Chinese dialect
I heard the sentence in a movie named "The Sum of All Fears". The scene is like: A group of Nazis are in a meeting, one of them wants to leave because he can not agree with the Insane subject/plan about launching an atombomb in a city, so he tells the others:" Well, I respect the will and judgment of my friends, but in light of the week's events, I am grown uncomfortable with this plan, so I must beg your leave". Then he is permitted to leave, but is sadly murdered immediately.

My question is why not use “beg MY leave” instead of “beg YOUR leave” here since it is the person himself who wants to leave, not anyone else.
By the way, it will be appreciated if you can also let me know whether the present tense is appropriate when we are picking an episode from a movie or a book, like what I did above.

Thanks a million for your kindly help.
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    This is confusing because, the "beg your leave" means "ask your permission"; it does not specifically refer or apply only to him leaving the room.
    In other words, one can "beg" someone's "leave" to do any number of things.
    It should be clear that this is not, I believe, common usage; it's a bit flowery and outdated.
     

    anothersmith

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I'm not sure I can answer your first question; I have heard both "I beg my leave" and "I beg your leave." (Both are old-fashioned, as bibliolept noted.)

    As for your second question, it is entirely appropriate to use the present tense when describing a scene from a film, play, book, etc.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I heard the sentence in a movie named "The Sum of All Fears". The scene is like: A group of Nazis are in a meeting, one of them wants to leave because he can not agree with the Insane subject/plan about launching an atombomb in a city, so he tells the others:" Well, I respect the will and judgment of my friends, but in light of the week's events, I am grown uncomfortable with this plan, so I must beg your leave". Then he is permitted to leave, but is sadly murdered immediately.

    My question is why not use “beg MY leave” instead of “beg YOUR leave” here since it is the person himself who wants to leave, not anyone else.


    Thanks a million for your kindly help.
    To beg your leave = to ask your permission.

    You could not say "I ask my permission."

    Leave in the sense of permission is very common in legal language.

    The district court may grant or deny leave to appeal or may direct the appellant to file a proper motion for leave to appeal.
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Excellent catch on the "kindly." "Kind" is the adjective form, jiey, and would be used to describe the noun "help." "Kindly" is the adverb form, and would thus be used to describe a verb, not a noun.
     

    jiey

    Member
    Chinese dialect
    To beg your leave = to ask your pemission.

    You could not say "I ask my permission."

    Leave in the sense of permission is very common in legal language.

    The district court may grant or deny leave to appeal or may direct the appellant to file a proper motion for leave to appeal.
    Thanks for your kind help and extended explanation. I really benefit a lot from them.:thumbsup:
     

    jiey

    Member
    Chinese dialect
    Excellent catch on the "kindly." "Kind" is the adjective form, jiey, and would be used to describe the noun "help." "Kindly" is the adverb form, and would thus be used to describe a verb, not a noun.
    You are really very kind, Bibliolept.. Thanks again for your correction of my chronic mistake. :)
     
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