Many times, hotel staff will find themselves in situations where they will have to take some action that will effect the guest. In these cases, the staff should politely ask the guest for their permission before taking any action. The guest may also ask permission to do something. It is only polite to ask before doing so. There are several expressions that can use used for asking for permissions. Look at the expressions.

Expressions- Asking Permission

To Ask Permission Possible Responses
Is it OK if . . . I really wish you wouldn’t.
Do you mind if . . . No, I don’t mind. Go ahead
May I . . . Sure, no problem.
Would it be a problem if . . . No problem at all.
Would it be OK if . . . No, please don’t.
I would prefer that you didn’t.


Staff: May I pour you more wine, ma’am?
Guest: Sure.

Staff: Do you mind if I clean the room now, sir?
Guest: Actually, would it be possible for you to come back in half an hour?
Staff: No problem, ma’am.

Guest: May I borrow you pen.
Staff: Absolutely sir, here you go.

Guest: Would it be a problem if I left my luggage here for a few minutes?
Staff: No problem at all, sir. I’ll, keep on eye on it.

Staff: Is it OK if I make a copy of your passport?
Guest: Sure, whatever you need.

Practice Conversation Activities- Asking Permission

1. Role Play

Role play the following situations with a partner, one person taking the role of the guest and the other person taking the role of a hotel staff.

Permission by Staff Permission by guest
Move some luggage out of the passage way Leave bags behind a counter.
Open a window Smoking in a restaurant
Refill a coffee cup Borrow a pen
Pull down a shade Take newspaper from lounge to read in room
Get their room key or card Leave a message for a friend

2. Group Activity- A Skit

Divide the class into groups of 2 or 3. Students work together to develop a skit that is grammatically correct about guests asking for permission to do something . The request should be denied and the reasons given. The guest should continue to try to convince the staff that their request should be granted. Once the skit is developed, students present it to the teacher and the rest of class. The teacher judges the skit based on grammar and language use, originality, and acting ability.

3. Discussion

Have a discussion about what staff might ask a guest’s permission to do before doing it? How often does this happen? What kinds of things do guests ask permission about? How often does that happen? Why is it important to ask for polite permission before acting? What could be the possible consequences if action were taken before permission granted?

Other Links
Asking to do something
Getting Approval