Puoi dirmi



In Lesson 2.8 there is a sentence Puoi dirmi l'ora, per favore? - Can you tell me the time, please?

In a previous lesson (2.3) we learn various similar types of question, for example Mi può dire…? - Can you tell me.. ? etc.

Are these forms interchangeable? Could we say Mi può dire l'ora, per favore?





Hi Peter-252, 


Thanks for your question.


The first difference to highlight is that the first sentence you mentioned (Puoi dirmi l'ora…) uses the informal “You”, while the second sentence (Mi può dire…) uses the formal “You” (therefore it agrees with the third sing. person). 


If you wish to ask someone you don't know (or if you wish to be polite or if you are talking to someone in a formal way), you may indeed ask “Mi può dire l'ora, per favore?”.


Hope this helps!



Hi Caterina,


Thanks for that information.  It'll be useful to be aware of the formal/informal ways of expression.



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