MSPs will vote next week on whether to support Ms Sturgeon's request for a section 30 order from Westminster, which would be needed to hold a legally binding ballot.
The prime minister seized on, which suggested that an independent Scotland would have to apply to join the European Union, rather than automatically being a member.
The First Minister shocked the UK Government with her announcement on Monday that she wants a second independence referendum to be held between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.
The kind of people, they believe, who are committed to the United Kingdom or who simply don't want another independence referendum.
She will insist Scots are "not powerless" and can "still decide which path we take".
The prime minister added: "I think we should be working to get the right deal for Scotland and the United Kingdom with our future partnership with the European Union".
In the last independence referendum in 2014, 55% of voters opposed Scotland breaking away.
The legislation setting up the Scottish parliament say its elections will be held every five years. "I will share them with the people of Scotland and the people of Scotland will have the right to know them once we are at that stage".
"Let there be no doubt - Scotland will have its referendum and the people of this country will have their choice".
Trump gives Central Intelligence Agency power to conduct drone strikes: United States media
The new authority is a change in drone policy from the Obama administration, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday citing USA officials.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: "The proposal brought forward is not fair, people will not be able to make an informed choice".
"If she doesn't she'll be turning the clock back to the bad old days of the times when the Conservatives ignored democratic opinion in Scotland".
Ronnie Cowan, the SNP MP for Inverclyde, came on talkRADIO to argue the case for a second independence referendum.
Speaking to ITV at the Scottish National party's spring conference, Sturgeon said she was focused only on winning a mandate from Holyrood next week authorising her to ask May formally for the authority to stage an official referendum.
More than 60% of voters in Scotland opted to stay in the European Union in the Brexit referendum in June, while 52% voted for Brexit across Britain and Northern Ireland.
"If her concern is timing then - within reason - I am happy to have that discussion", Sturgeon, who also heads the devolved Scottish government, will say according to a text of her speech.
"However, that may now change in light of the UK Government's position".
"This isn't just about politics, it's about the future of Scotland, it's about the future of Scotland's children, and it's about opportunities", he said in an interview for PoliticsHome's latest podcast, to be released later today. The country's First Minister has been no less robust in her counter-criticism, saying that "our efforts at compromise have been met with a brick wall of intransigence".