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Lesson 153: Asking permission with て-form + もいいですか

The て-form is also used in the pattern て-form + もいい, which is commonly used to ask for permission or whether something is acceptable. The word いい, as you learned previously, means good or OK. So you can think of the literal translation of this grammar point as, Is it alright to …?

Conversely, you can use the pattern て-form + はいけません to say that something is not permitted. Keep in mind that the て-form + はいけません is a strict way of saying someone can't do something. Later you will learn kinder ways of asking someone to refrain from doing something.

Check out the sentences below for some examples for how this pattern may be used in context.

English Japanese
Can I smoke here? (Is smoking allowed here?) ここでタバコをってもいいですか?
koko de tabako wo sutte mo ii desu ka?
Can she come too? かのじょてもいいですか?
kanozyo mo kite mo ii desu ka?
In Japan, wearing shoes inside the house is not allowed. ほんで、いえなかくついてはいけません。
nihon de, ie no naka de kutu wo haite ha ikemasen.
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