I often find myself wanting to ask if I can do something ie. "Is it okay if I ask you a question?" or "Can I switch seats with you?" Along those lines. I'm not sure if this is something naturally asked in Japanese.

My attempts are: 「質問をしたい、これはいいですか?」but I can imagine this in no way sounds natural.

Are there any alternatives that act as softening a question? as I often feel uncomfortable just straight up asking a question since I'm worried it will seem interrogative. Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


A very standard and polite way of asking permission for something in Japanese is to use the construction VERBてもいいですか.

See these answers for reference:

In your sentence, you could use this construction and say:

質問してもいいですか。 May I ask a question?  

For an even more polite version, you can use VERBていただけませんか. For example,

私と席を替わっていただけませんか? Could you change seats with me?

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