Pass up

Dr.Appalayya

Senior Member
India;Telugu
Situation:

At a dinner table accommodating five people, one of them wanted the container of salt which is located two persons away (please corrct). In stead of the needy person moving from his chair, he may request the other friends to pass it to him.

Query:

How to such a question.

1.Can you pass the salt container on to me?
2.Can you pass the salt container up to me?
3.Can you pass me the salt container?
4.Can you pass on the salt container to me?
 
  • lareneg

    Member
    United Kingdom, English
    Just one note first: Native speakers wouldn't say "salt container", they'd just say "salt". It just sounds slightly odd saying "salt container"...

    3) is OK, 1), 2) and 4) are understandable, but I think they're wrong.

    With 1), when you pass something on, it sounds like you've had it for some time, and you're letting somebody else look at it:

    "Can you pass the letter on to me once you have finished reading it?"
    "When you have finished with the CD, can you pass it on to me?"


    With 2), when you say "up to me", it makes it sound like you're above them. You'd say "up to me" in the following context:

    "Hi, I've just moved in to the flat upstairs. I think a letter got delivered to you instead of me by mistake, could you please pass it up to me when you have an oppurtunity?"


    With 4), you just need to remove the word "on":

    "Can you pass the salt to me, please?"


    Number 3) is OK as it is:

    "Can you pass me the salt, please?"
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Excuse me, could you pass the salt please?
    Excuse me, would you mind passing the salt?

    For some reason, a request for a condiment is often phrased very formally.

    There is a perfectly satisfactory alternative:
    Could I have the salt (please)? - spoken with the right inflection it would be courteous without the please.
     
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