Czenglish

Have a question vs. ask a question

8.10.2018

B1- B1 B2 C1

WRONG: Can I have a question?
RIGHT: Can I ask a question?

It’s good to ask questions when learning English – a way of actually checking you understand something. But in asking a question, many students often make a mistake. They say, “Excuse me, can I have a question?” This is wrong. Breaking it down simply, the student is saying, “I have a question. Can I ask it?”

So, saying, “Can I have a question?” makes no sense. Instead, you need to say, “Can I ask a question?” We ‘have’ questions ready in our heads, but we need to ‘ask’ them. Here’s a correct dialogue between two students:

A: I have a question about past tenses. Do you think I should ask the teacher?
B: Go on ask it, he won’t mind.
A: Okay then. Excuse me sir, can I ask a question about past tenses?

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