Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Asking for the bathroom

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MrsJWine:

--- Quote from: Gail on January 25, 2013, 05:45:41 PM ---When people is in a strange house and need a bathroom, they usually ask: can I go to the bathroom? But I find this awkward, because the answer to that question is always yes, so it's ridiculous to ask it in the first place (this is my own reasoning).

--- End quote ---

I think this is a bit pedantic. If you're communicating what you want to communicate, exactly correct grammar isn't essential except for specific situations (editor to writer or student to teacher). I know the difference between "can" and "may," and I still find myself mixing them up just because that's how people talk. No, it's not correct, but it's normal speech. You know what people really mean by, "Can I use the bathroom?" and they would know what you meant if you said it.

Anyway, I, too, say, "Where is the restroom?" Mostly because, "May I use the bathroom?" is usually met with, "No." It's a joke, of course, but it's not really funny after the 800th time.

Gail:

--- Quote ---I know the difference between "can" and "may," and I still find myself mixing them up just because that's how people talk. No, it's not correct, but it's normal speech.
--- End quote ---

About the language thing, I'm translating from spanish, where "may" and "can" are the same word. The exact sentence is "¿Puedo ir al baño?".

I meant that asking for permission to do something so basic as going to the bathroom is like asking for permission to eat the food served to you. So instead of asking I prefer to say it directly.

gramma dishes:
In your example, it sounds as though you already know the location of the bathroom so you don't need to ask "Where is the restroom?"

So why do you need to announce to all in the room that you're going to go use the bathroom?  If you're three and still need someone to assist you wiping your little bottom that's one thing, but I assume that everyone posting here is probably past that point.

As far as I can see, there is no need to announce that you're going to be taking care of a normal bodily function.  Just hoist yourself up out of your seat and head for the appropriate door!  No one is likely to say "Where are  you going?" but if they do, just say "Restroom" and stop talking right there.  Anything beyond that is more information than anyone else needs.

Hmmmmm:

--- Quote from: Gail on January 25, 2013, 05:45:41 PM ---When people is in a strange house and need a bathroom, they usually ask: can I go to the bathroom? But I find this awkward, because the answer to that question is always yes, so it's ridiculous to ask it in the first place (this is my own reasoning). So what I say is: "hey, I'm going to use the bathroom, if you don't mind". It's not a question, but it leaves open the matter is the host wants to warn me about the door, or the window, like "oh, be careful with the plant when you close the door", or something like that.
But last time a friend (not the host) told me that my asking was "too direct and harsh". I'm too direct and harsh anyway, that's why I'm in this forum, but I wanted to ask you. Am I being rude to ask for the bathroom in that way?

--- End quote ---

Honestly, I dislike the "do you mind?"  It makes me think, "why would I mind".  If visiting, I usually just ask "Where's your restroom?".

But for people that I don't know well, I might still say "may I use your restroom.?"  And I do normally use "may" and "can" correctly. Just because the answer is going to be yes, it doesn't mean it's impolite to ask.  It's like being at a jewelry store and saying "may I see that necklace".  I've never been told no by the salesperson.

doodlemor:
You could say........

Would you please direct me to your bathroom?

Or, you could ask where the bathroom is when you first enter a home where you haven't been before.  You could say.........

Would you please show me where your bathroom is - I'm sure that I'll need it before the evening is over.

I often show people the way when they first enter my home, and no one has ever laughed or complained about the information.

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