Archive for July 29, 2010

grammatical expression: let me…


When you’re a guest in someone’s house, you’ve probably heard the host say something like, “Let me take your coat.” Some people think this means that the host is asking for permission to take the coat from the person, but the meaning is a little different. When English speakers use the expression “let me…”, they are basically stating what they are going to do. However, it’s not polite to say, “I’m going to take your coat.” Therefore, we use “Let me take your coat.” in order to make it sound more polite. Here are some more examples:

Let me give you a ride to the station.

Let me get you another glass of wine.

You must be hungry. Let me get you something to eat.

Let me show you where Mr. Brown’s office is.

So, when we use “let me”, it’s always because we intend to do something nice for the other person. If the other person doesn’t want what the person intends to do for them, they can say something like:

No, thank you. I’m ok.

That’s nice of you, but I’m ok.

I appreciate that, but I’m ok.

And if they accept what the person intends to do for them, they can simply say, “Thank you.”

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