Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Eric: Hi everybody! Eric here!
Becky: Hello everyone! Becky here. This is Hospitality English for Hotels, Season 2, Lesson 19 - Last-minute Check-ins.
Eric: In this lesson you’ll learn how to use “may” instead of “can.”
Becky: This conversation takes place in the afternoon at the front desk.
Eric: It is between a staff member and a guest.
Becky: The speakers are in a professional relationship, so they’ll be using formal English. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Staff Hello sir. How may I help you today?
Customer I need to check in.
Staff Not a problem sir. Do you have a reservation?
Customer No, I don’t.
Staff Okay. We have a single room open for today. It will be $65. Would you like to reserve it?
Customer Yes.
Staff May I please see your credit card?
Customer Sure.
Staff Do you mind if I make a copy of this?
Customer Nope.
Staff Okay, we’re all set here.
Customer Thank you!
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Staff Hello sir. How may I help you today?
Customer I need to check in.
Staff Not a problem sir. Do you have a reservation?
Customer No, I don’t.
Staff Okay. We have a single room open for today. It will be $65. Would you like to reserve it?
Customer Yes.
Staff May I please see your credit card?
Customer Sure.
Staff Do you mind if I make a copy of this?
Customer Nope.
Staff Okay, we’re all set here.
Customer Thank you!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Eric: Sometimes, English can be a little quirky. One of those quirky things is the phrase "do you mind."
Becky: When a guest uses this phrase, or when you use it with a guest, the answer to the question will be the opposite of the permission you need, because what the guest is saying yes or no to is not the action itself, but whether or not they mind, as in, would it bother them for you to do something.
Eric: That is quirky. (Laugh) So, in the dialogue, the staff member asked “Do you mind if I make a copy of this?" Here, the staff member is asking permission to copy the document.
Becky: That’s right, but, and this is important, because of the phrase "Do you mind…" the guest responds with "Nope.”
Eric: Even though "nope" means "no," the guest is actually saying "No, I don’t have a problem with you making a copy” and that means “Yes, you may copy this document."
Becky: Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary.
VOCAB LIST
Becky: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
The first word we’ll see is
Eric: Do you mind… [natural native speed]
Becky: does it bother you that…
Eric: Do you mind… [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Eric: Do you mind… [natural native speed]
Becky: Next we have...
Eric: May I please… [natural native speed]
Becky: Do you give permission that I…, Am I allowed to…
Eric: May I please… [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Eric: May I please… [natural native speed]
Becky: And last we have...
Eric: We are all set here [natural native speed]
Becky: Everything is ready,
Eric: We are all set here [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Eric: We are all set here [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Eric: The first phrase we are going to look at is "We’re all set."
Becky: Now, this phrase is pretty similar to "we are ready." It’s just a more colloquial way to say it.
Eric: That’s right. The idea of "all set" means that everything is in place, or that everything has been "set" where it should be.
Becky: So, in an example sentence we could say "We are all set here, sir" or "I think we’re all set."
Eric: The next phase we want to look at is "May I please."
Becky: This phrase is all about asking permission. You should know that the word "please" is frequently used in the same sentence as "may."
Eric: For example, "May I see your identification, please?" and "May I please come with you?"
Becky: Many people think that "may" is a polite word, or that it’s formal. That’s not strictly true. The word "may" simply requests permission for something, and therefore sometimes requires the word please in order to make the phrase polite.
Eric: And one more example just for good measure is "May I please take your bags?"
Becky: Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: In this lesson, you'll learn how to use “may” instead of “can.”
Becky: In the dialogue, we had the phrase "May I please see your credit card?"
Eric: Many people have difficulty choosing between "may" and "can," but this isn’t just a problem that English learners have. Even many native English speakers confuse these two words.
Becky: That’s right. The correct way is to use "may" for permission and "can" for ability. For example, "May I help you?" means “Do I have your permission to help you?”
Eric: So, as you can see, using "can" in a question like this doesn’t quite make sense. That’s why, if you say “Can I help you?”, you will occasionally get responses like "Oh, I hope so" and "I don’t really know. Can you?"
Becky: Some of the people giving these answers may be making a joke, and others may say something like this because the common misuse of "can" irritates them. In either case, when someone responds in this manner, it’s usually best to laugh, apologize, and then correct yourself.
Eric: The difference between these two words is specific and distinct. However, many native English speakers don’t pay attention to these grammatical rules, which can make learning the proper use of ‘can’ and ‘may’ confusing and difficult.
Becky: And even beyond that, among certain groups, the use of "may" can give off a feeling of rigidness and make things feel awkward.
Eric: That’s right. Sometimes it’s better to just avoid using “can" or "may" altogether! Luckily there are several phrases you can use in their place. The first one we’ll look at is "do you mind if."
Becky: The phrase "Do you mind if…" is often used in place of "may." For example, "Do you mind if I make a copy of your ID?" This is very common and can be done in many situations.
Eric: However, please be aware that this phrase can’t replace "may" in the fixed question, "May I help you?" Saying, "Do you mind if I help you?" sounds strange.
Becky: Yeah, that is pretty strange!

Outro

Eric: Well, that's all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you next time.
Becky: Bye!

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Leone
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Hey englishclass101 team!!!!!!!

Thanks for the nice lessons and for nice teachers!!!!

Hot regards

Leone.