“Sweetie, can I ask you something?”

English Lesson: Sweetie, can I ask you something?

Your boyfriend has been acting strangely recently. You want to have a serious talk with him to find out why. You start the conversation this way.  

Sweetie, can I ask you something?

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"Sweetie" is a name that you can call someone. Here are some examples of who calls who "sweetie":

  • Mothers can call their children "sweetie"
  • A father can call his daughters "sweetie", but probably not his sons.
  • Teachers might call their students "sweetie" if the students are very young, like 8 years old or lower.
  • Some gay men call their friends and various other people "sweetie".
  • Some older women call anyone younger than them "sweetie", even strangers.
  • You can call your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife "sweetie".

Can I ask you something?

When you need to ask someone a question that's important, complicated, or might make them upset, you first ask:

Can I ask you something?


Can I ask you a question?

Of course, this is already a question, so sometimes when you ask someone "Can I ask you a question?" they will respond:

You just did!

This is supposed to be a joke. Do you get the joke?