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I'm wodering about the correct, or natural, way to say "could you please add some sugar to my coffee?"

My unnatural-sounding way would be 在我的咖啡可以加糖吗, but I feel like a Chinese speaker is unlikely to use 可以 in that direct of a way, and it seems like I need some word to indicate that I actually want it in my coffee. Any advice would be apprciated!

  • Minimally modify your sentence: 在我的咖啡可以加糖吗? or 可以在我的咖啡加糖吗? – 賈可 Jacky Jul 6 '17 at 5:21
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It would be more natural to say 「請幫我的咖啡加點糖。」or more directly 「請幫我加點糖。」(if you're pointing at your coffee, it'll be more natural)。 If you say 「在我的咖啡可以加糖吗?」, it sounds like you're asking if it is suitable to add sugar to your coffee. As a native Chinese speaker, this is my advice. e.g. Could you please add more salt to this dish? Thank you. 幫我把這道菜加點鹽,謝謝。

  • 「帮我的咖啡」, really? I would never have guessed. But thanks for confirming my suspicions that my way doesn't sound natural! – user11315 Jul 12 '15 at 16:34
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    @user11315 Regarding the specific use of 可以 in your original question, part of the unnaturalness is due it being the direct translation from the English 'can/could'. English speakers tend to make requests by asking whether something can or could be done, with the implication that the receiver would go ahead and perform the request if it was possible. Chinese speakers tend to be more to the point, and simply ask the receiver to do it for them. 请 (please), 帮我 (help me), or 麻烦你 (to trouble you) are often used to make it clearer that it's a request rather than a demand. – Claw Jul 13 '15 at 4:51
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能给我的咖啡加点糖吗 or 可以给我的咖啡加点糖吗 Could can be translated in 能 or 可以。and place the begin of the line.

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Another option: 请给我的咖啡里放一点糖。, or if the sugar comes in lumps or cubes: 请给我的咖啡里放一块糖。

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you can say like this

" 可以给我的咖啡加点糖吗? "

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