We were in Tokyo for a holiday. The Nagano apples at the supermarket looked so big and delicious that we had to get some to try. But when we went back to our hotel, we realized that we didn’t have a knife to cut and peel the apples. They were also too big to bite directly into. I wanted to borrow a knife from the front desk. How do I ask “Can I borrow a knife?” in Japanese?


Answer by Professional Japanese Teacher
Naifu o karitemo iidesuka?
May I borrow a knife?

“Verb+temo iidesuka?” is an expression used to ask for permission to do something. If you use the verb “kariru” (to borrow) and change it to te-form, that is “karitemo iidesuka?”, it means “may I borrow ~?”

The hotel staff may be wondering why you would need a knife. So, it may be better if you can explain it by saying “Ringo o kiritain desu” (I want to cut an apple).