Lesson 3a - Requests

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Common Mistakes in English - Những Lỗi Thường Gặp trong tiếng Anh

Lesson 3a - Requests

Sometimes students make mistakes with uses not form, that means they are saying everything correctly, but the structure or right for situation is not appropriate.

In this lesson, we’re going to talk about “making a request” and we’re going to make sure that you use the right request for a given situation.

Topic: Requests
Objective: To make appropriate requests.

Appropriate is an adjective. It means well-chosen for a specific situation or suitable for a certain purpose.

What is a request?

When we make a request, we are asking others to perform an action.

This is different from telling them.

We can tell people to do something by using commands, instructions, and directions.

These are different from requests.

So isn’t it better to be polite and always ask people to do something rather than tell them what to do?

And aren’t all requests polite?

No. HOW you ask them and HOW you tell them can be polite or rude.

You need to understand when commands, instructions, and directions are appropriate and when it’s better to make a request.

At last, I’d like to state my point and show you that not always what you say it but how you say it can be rude or polite.

Let’s start with “command”.

I’m going to say two different ways. Listen two differences.

Go home!
Go home

The first way could be said to each person who came to a party of mine uninvited.

Now they behave badly.

And I want to the person out of my house. I say “go home”.

The second way could be said to a co-worker, who is asked to often works very late and working long hours and more about the personal health.

I think you should go home and rest. So I say “go home”.

Here is different.

Ok, now let’s take the “request”.

You use the question “Will you please open the door?”

Listen two different ways.

First way: We please open the door.
Second way: We please open the door.

The first way could be said to the same family members, your brother, your sister and standing here the door and they see you and lay hands at their back and just looking at you.

Maybe they are funny and maybe they are lazy. I don’t wait and annoy you.

So you say “We please open the door”.

The second way, you could say to a stranger.

You still have heavy bags and you can’t open the door easily and you need some help.

You want to ask the stranger to assist you.

You can say “we please open the door”.

Get the differences.

Telling people to perform an action.

Most often we use the imperative to give commands, instructions, and directions.

Next with clauses what’s the imperative?

Two formats
- Use the base verb.
For example: Go. Stop. Help me.

- Use “Do not” base verb to make a negative imperative.
For example: Do not drive fast. Don’t lie.

The imperative is appropriate for these purposes.

Giving commands
For example
In the army. You mind here.
Stand up straight!
Give me 50 push-ups.

Giving instructions
For example
Step to the right.
Bring your feet together.
Step forward like this.
Now turn to the left.
Don’t watch your feet.

Giving directions
For example
Go straight for 2 miles.
Turn at the traffic light.
Make a left onto Elm Street.
Don’t park on the street.

If you want to ask people to perform an action, you can soften the imperative with “please”.
For example
Please listen.
Sing a song, please.
Please don’t leave.

This turns commands into requests.

Let’s pass the exercise.

Comprehension check 1.

Choose the correct answer.

Which is a command?
a. Please leave.
b. Stop!
c. Put in 1 cup of sugar.
Answer: b.Stop!

Number 1. Which is a direction?
a. Don’t do that.
b. Please calm down.
c. Turn right on Beacon Street.
Answer: c.

Number 2. Which is a request?
a. Please speak more slowly.
b. Come home right now!
c. Keep your back straight when you dance.
Answer: a.

Number 3. Which is an instruction?
a. Don’t follow me.
b. Insert the CD here.
c. Please explain this to me.
Answer: b.

That’s the end of part 1. Be sure to take out part 2 and 3.



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