Can I go in there?

crimecrime

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
Hello everyone.

Say you're about to turn into a driveway (your friend's invited you to a party), but some people are standing on the sidewalk in front of the driveway and you can't get through because of them. Is it correct to ask them in this situation, "Can I go in there?" (meaning, you would like them to step aside and let you through) or maybe there is some other polite way to say this?

Thank you in advance
 
  • eirinn1975

    New Member
    Italy - Italian
    I would use "may", when it comes to asking for something politely. In this context "may" would mean "Am I allowed to..." or "Do I have the permission to..."
     

    crimecrime

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    That's not really asking them to move. You could say, "Could you let me through, please?". That is asking them to move in a nice enough way.
    Thank you, dermott.

    Actually, the real situation is a bit different. I'm translating a video for Youtube where activists stop people from driving on the sidewalk. They stop one such driver on the sidewalk and she asks them if she may turn to the left from the sidewalk and onto the driveway that connects the street (road that runs along the building) and the building's courtyard.

    She doesn't say anything about the left turn, though. She asks them "Can I go there?" and points her finger towards the courtyard.

    How would you say this in English? (I'm sorry for misleading everyone, it's just much easier to explain the situation using the driveway example, then to explain why people drive on sidewalk in Russia.)
     

    dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Ah! It sounds a bit similar to one of the other videos you were translating. I remember I had trouble last time visualising the scenario. From memory it's basically drivers taking short-cuts using the footpath (sidewalk). For context, are the activists deliberately blocking the driver? Is the driver annoyed?
     

    crimecrime

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Ah! It sounds a bit similar to one of the other videos you were translating. I remember I had trouble last time visualising the scenario. From memory it's basically drivers taking short-cuts using the footpath (sidewalk). For context, are the activists deliberately blocking the driver? Is the driver annoyed?
    Yes, they are doing it deliberately. The driver is not annoyed this time and is quite polite (it's a woman.)

    So here's a picture for example. You can see a car driving on the sidewalk, the back of the activist who is blocking the car's way, and the road in the background. The road is connected with the courtyard by a number of driveways, but people choose to drive in and out of the courtyard on the sidewalk, because this way they don't have to sit in traffic. The driveway connecting the road and courtyard is actully also visible in the background (the red car is parked on it.)

     

    dermott

    Senior Member
    B.E. via Australian English
    Perfectly explained. :thumbsup: If she's pointing where she wants to go, and in polite mode, I don't see anything wrong with your original "Can I go in there?". Or, "I'm trying to go in there". Or even, "I'd like to get/go in there". They all reference the fact that they're blocking her way.
     

    crimecrime

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    Perfectly explained. :thumbsup: If she's pointing where she wants to go, and in polite mode, I don't see anything wrong with your original "Can I go in there?". Or, "I'm trying to go in there". Or even, "I'd like to get/go in there". They all reference the fact that they're blocking her way.
    Thank you very much, dermott. This is exactly what I needed to know.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top