Need your help please


May you please check the message below:


Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your time and consideration email.

May you please advise me on the below question following:
How long does Aptamil milk being healthy after prepared?

Yours faithfully,



Thanks in advance....

correction message asked Feb 13 '13 at 09:02 Tareq Obeid New member

1 answer


We don’t use the phrase “may you please.”  May is used when asking for permission.  May I have some ice cream? Can is used when asking about ability.  Can you run a marathon?  Will is used when asking about intention.  Will you lend me your car? In your type of letter, we might say will you please or can you please, but never may you please


Most people, however, will just say please when asking someone to do something. We also don’t ask someone to answer the following question unless we are giving a test or quiz.  We simply ask the question.


It is correct to use “Sir/Madam” for a formal letter to someone of unknown gender.  It needs to be followed by a colon.  Abbreviating Madam with Ma’am removes the formality and doesn’t make sense to me. 


Instead of healthy, I would use the word safeUnsafe is a different than unhealthy.  You want to know when it is no longer safe to give the Aptamil to your child. 


I would be less formal when writing a letter like this.  A business letter is formal so that the communication can be documented for various reasons.  This is a letter to customer service asking for information about the product, and those tend to be less formal.  A formal complaint to customer service would, of course, remain formal.   Here is how I would write such a letter:



After I prepare Aptamil milk for my child, how long does it remain safe for the baby to drink?

Thanks for your help,


link comment edited Feb 14 '13 at 09:01 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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