Useful expression for spoken English: 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.


  1. Do you think it’s all right to do it?

This Phrase is quiet informal ways of asking if another person agrees with an action that you are planning to do.

  1. What do you think about (me doing that)?

This phrase is also informal way to ask someone their approval

  1. Do you think/reckon I ought to (do it)?

It’s an informal way to ask approval. Generally, we use this phrase with our friends and in rush time when we have to ask permission in very short time. 

  1. What would you say if I (did it)?

Phrases 4 is hypothetical and so sound a bit more polite. Phrases 1 to 3 suggests that speaker probably will do it. 4 suggest that the speaker won’t do it if another person doesn’t agree.


  1. Would you approve of (doing something)?

Phrase 5 is almost same with phrase 4. Here the person to whom we asking is not sure but the possibility is strong that person will give the permission. It is a very polite way to ask approval.

  1. What is your attitude to the idea of…

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.

  1. Are you in favor of (me doing something)?

We use phrase 7 is almost similar to phrase 6 but in this case, the permission totally depends on the person and we are asking the person to look into the matter with some extra consideration.

  1. You are in favor of … aren’t you?

In this phrase, 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’. In this case, asking approval is little dominating and the answer is quite known already.

  1. Do you think anyone would mind if I…

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?’

  1. Would it be really awfuil if I…

In phrase 10, the speaker thinks that the other person will be angry if the speaker does what they want to do. E.g. ‘Would it be really awful if I took the rest of the day off?’.




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