The English speaker seeking to ask a question about someone’s ability to do something ought use the word ‘can.’ “Can you put the toilet seat down?” is a question about someone’s ability to put the toilet seat down, not a request for him to do so.
The English speaker seeking to request something of someone else ought use the word ‘will,’ or a variant thereof. “Would you put the toilet seat down?” is a request for someone to perform that act in the immediate future.
The English speaker seeking to direct the actions of another ought use the accusative form of the appropriate verb. “Put the toilet seat down!” is a command directed at someone else, a way to tell that person to do something - not tomorrow, not later, but now.
These standard words and usages developed for a reason; they are not interchangeable, and efforts to use them in place of one another leads quickly to confusion.
Asking someone if they ‘want’ to do something is an inquiry into their personal desires and aspirations, not the same as asking them to do that thing. "Do you want to sweep up in here?" is a question about a person's urge to sweep up, not a request for them to do so. Trying to turn a question into a request by using the word ‘please’ in conjunction with ‘can’ as a substitute for an inquiry or command is a crutch. "Can you please sweep up in here?" is less forceful and more open to misinterpretation than this: "Sweep up in here." Physical crutches are something a person discards as soon as he is well enough to move around without them. Similarly, linguistic crutches ought be discarded as soon as a person is comfortable with the standard words and usages mentioned above.
For more information, please read a book named ‘The Elements of Style’ by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. Thanks for reading.
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