Can you please or Could you please

rempress

Member
Tagalog
Which is correct:
  • Can you please send us samples?
  • Could you please send us samples?
Please give a brief explanation why?
 
  • timtfj

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Both are correct. The first is more direct, and the second is more polite. Could you please . . . gives slightly more room for refusal than Can you please . . .
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Which is correct:
    • Can you please send us samples?
    • Could you please send us samples?
    Please give a brief explanation why?
    Can you asks if there is an ability to send the samples.

    Could you assumes there is an ability but asks if there is a willingness.

    In actual practice, however, most people will use the two versions interchangeably.
     

    Subhajit12

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator


    Could/can anyone tell me what the difference between 'can' and 'could' in the following sentences is? And, are they interchangeable in the following context? What Difference do the words 'can' and 'could' create when making a request or an offer?

    Here are the examples:


    • Suppose, I am looking for a particular bank but I don't know where the bank is. I meet an old man and want to know the direction of the bank from him. So I ask him "Can/could you please tell me where the bank is?"



    • Could/can anyone please teach me how to share videos and photos on Facebook?


    As usual, if there is anything ungrammatical in my writing, please correct it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "Could" is slightly more polite in your examples, and I would use it rather than "can," although the difference is actual meaning here is not significant.
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    You can use either "can" or "could", Subhajit12. "Could" is more deferential.
    Can or could (...) Instructions and requests: We use could you as a polite way of telling or asking someone to do something:
    Could you take a message please? Could I have my bill please?
    Can is less polite: Can you take a message please? (britishcouncil.org)
     
    Last edited:
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