Asking for approval

Sometimes we are not sure if it's a good idea to do something. So we need useful expressions for asking if other people agree with an idea or intended action. Here are ten phrases.

10 expressions to Use In Speaking And Writing: 
  1. Do you think it's all right to do it?
  2. What do you think about (me doing that)?
  3. Do you think / reckon I ought to (do it)?
  4. What would you say if I (did it)?
  5. Would you approve of (doing something)?
  6. What is your attitude to the idea of...
  7. Are you in favour of (me doing something)?
  8. You are in favour of ... aren't you?
  9. Do you think anyone would mind if I...
  10. Would it be really awful if I...
How To Use These Phrases In Your English: 
  1. Phrases 1, 2 and 3 are quite informal ways of asking if another person agrees with an action that you are planning to do.
  2. Phrases 4 and 5 are hypothetical and so sound a bit more polite. Phrases 1 to 3 suggest that speaker probably will do it. 4 and 5 suggest that the speaker won't do it if another person doesn't agree.
  3. Phrase 6 is asking another person for their feelings about an imagined action. The speaker doesn't actually say that she is thinking of doing it so is making the action more remote. This phrase is quite formal.
  4. In phrase 7, the action being described will seem more remote if the speaker leaves out the word 'me', in a similar way to phrase 6.
  5. In phrase 8, it is important that the intonation is falling on the first 'are' and is rising on the negative verb in the question tag 'aren't'.
  6. Phrase 9 is quite informal and is asking the listener's opinion about other people's reactions. You follow this phrase with a past tense verb that describes the action that you want to do. E.g. 'Do you think anyone would mind if I left early today?'
  7. In phrase 10, the speaker thinks that the other person will be angry if the speaker does what they want to do. It is also followed by a past tense verb. E.g. 'Would it be really awful if I took the rest of the day off?'
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