Our teacher taught us to ask for the permission to ask a question by saying「質問してもいいですか。」. Now I'm writing her an email, and would like to say something along the lines of "If I may ask a question, ...", where (...) would be a grammar question, for example.

I would have written 「質問してもよかったら、……」, but Google returns no hits at all for this specific sentence, so obviously it's not correct.

How would you say "If I may ask a question, ..."?

  • I've also found 聞かせていただけると……, but it sounds too formal for a mail. Is it?
    – Clément
    Mar 6 '13 at 21:32
  • 3
    I'd say... 「質問があるんですが、・・・」「分からないことがあるんですが、・・・」「お聞きしたいことがあるんですが、・・・」「教えていただきたいことがあるんですが、・・・」(I might add 「すみません、」 and/or 「ちょっと」 before them)
    – user1016
    Mar 7 '13 at 0:56
  • @Chocolate if you are writing, all the んです should be written のです。
    – oldergod
    Mar 7 '13 at 4:31
  • @oldergod スンマセンww敬語がなってなくて…最近の若者だから言葉の使い方知ら((殴
    – user1016
    Mar 7 '13 at 23:54
  • @Chocolate 日本語上手ですね
    – oldergod
    Mar 8 '13 at 1:40

Trying to translate your initial phrase directly may be too burdensome, but beginning a request with "If I may...," has a direct translation suitable for you:


Here is an example, though the whole sentence is probably a bit too stiff for your purposes:

If I may, I'd like to ask you a few questions about something else.


Source: I searched "If I may ask" on http://eow.alc.co.jp

Please do the same if you would like to see other examples.

If you would like this response tailored to a specific quote, please provide one.

Among friends, one could say,


  • 2
    I second using お尋ねしたいんですけど or variants, or for a little less formal just 質問したいんですが. 質問したいことがある is also ok, though maybe a little more direct than what he's asking for.
    – ssb
    Mar 6 '13 at 23:32
  • That's an awesome answer, thanks a huge lot! I didn't know of eow.alc.co.jp at all, only new tatoeba and jisho.org. Great resource! Thanks again.
    – Clément
    Mar 7 '13 at 0:37
  • perhaps on meta or in answer to other questions for resources you can find a number of sites like that.
    – yadokari
    Mar 7 '13 at 0:53
  • 2
    Among friends, I think we normally say more like... 「ちょっと聞いてもいい?・・・・?」「ちょっと教えてくれない(orくれる)?・・・・?」「ちょっと教えてほしいんだけど、・・・・?」I might add 「ごめん、」 before them, instead of 「すいません、」.
    – user1016
    Mar 7 '13 at 1:31
  • @Chocolate i agree, i was just trying to use some of OP's given vocab. thanx~ ps can u make a sentence like op asked using よろしければ ? i was having trouble doing it naturally.
    – yadokari
    Mar 7 '13 at 3:02

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