Lesson 3b - Requests

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

Lesson 3b - Requests

Let’s talk more about how we ask people to perform an action.
In addition to using imperatives, we can use questions:

Some common questions from making a request are:
- Can you…? / could you…?
- Will you…? / Would you…?

Note that “Would you…/ Could you…?” are more polite.

So from less polite to more polite. Here some examples:
Can/ will you show me?
Can/ will you show me, please?
Could/ would you show me?
Could/ would you show me, please?

So you see again that “could” or “would” are more polite and please always make any questions more polite.

Additional Requests

Do you mind cooking dinner tonight?

Would you mind mailing a letter for me?

Would it be too much trouble to pick me up from work?

Take a note of grammar: Do you mind /Would you mind takes of verb ING.

The last expression “would be too much trouble” combine with infinitive.

Asking people Not to Do something.

Sometimes it’s best to use the imperative, especially if it’s a matter of safety.

This is called a warning. You are telling someone not to do something dangerous.
For example:
Slow down
Don’t fall.

But in other situations, it’s more appropriate to ask a person not to do something.
For example:
Would you please stop doing that?

When you ask someone not to do something, you can imply your wishes instead of stating them directly.

This is considered more tactful.

Tactful means you behave in a way that doesn’t upset others.

So here some examples for implied requests not to do something.

I really wish you would stop calling me “little girl”.
In other word, to say “Don’t call me “little girl”.

I wish you wouldn’t be so negative.
In other word, “Don’t be so negative”.

It might help if you did a little more around the house.
In other word, “I want you to help more around the house”.

You know, it wouldn’t hurt to call more often.
In other word, “I want you to call more often”.

Sometimes the speaker uses “we” in a statement, but the meaning is really “you”.

This is done to make a request less like a command and more like a suggestion or reminder.

For example, a parent might say: “Let’s not call each other names.”

Let’s stop and try an exercise.

Comprehension check 2
Read each statement and identify the situation. Sometimes more one answer is possible

“Please get back to work. Don’t waste your time or mine.”
What is the situation?
a. an employee speaking to a boss
b. a boss speaking to an employee
c. one employee speaking to another

Answer: b
These requests, two address to employee to use with the boss, and for one employee to use with the request to another is unnatural.

One employee with another could be more likely to use suggestion, such as, “Look /get back to work”.

Number 1. “I wish you’d stop doing that”
What is the situation?
a. a police officer speaking to a dangerous driver
b. a student speaking to a teacher who often forgets the student’s name
c. a person speaking to a friend who often criticizes himself

Answer: c.

A police officer speaking to a driver is with not use polite request, more directly and more warning “Stop driving dangerously” or “Stop doing that”.

And in case of student, if you will beg not even to make a request, but something you give a reminder, students can say something tell the teacher what his name is.

Number 2. “Let’s wash our hands. We wash our hands before eating.”
What is the situation?

a. a parent speaking to a child
b. a doctor speaking to a patient
c. a hotess speaking to a dinner guest.

Answer: a.
A doctor wishes not speak the way to the patient, the doctor give directions or instructions and warnings.

A hostess wishes also not speak to dinner guest. The hostess is more likely to make an offer, such as, “Would you care for wash-up before dinner?”

Number 3. “Would it be too much trouble to move the bed near the window?”
What is the situation?

a. a young child speaking to her parent
b. a guest speaking to the hotel staff
c. a homeowner speaking to hired furniture movers

Answer: b.

A child wishes not use such a request. It is a little too formal, too long.
The child wishes sometimes can ask “Can you move the bed near the window?”

See it also possible but in the situation there are likely to many big/ piece of furniture, and it takes the time two people leave to make a request for every single piece of furniture. It’s just “too much”.

4. “Will you call me?” But don’t call after 9, okay?”
What is the situation?

a. a girlfriend speaking to her boyfriend
b. a job seeker speaking to a job interviewer
c. a patient speaking to a receptionist at the doctor’s office
Answer: a.

A job seeker need to remain formal and polite.

The job seeker could ask “May I make a call? May I ….call? Will you be calling me..?”.

The job seeker should also not to be demanding. So you are the best to say something, such as “Please call me you are convenient.”

A patient should also be polite want to be speaking to receptionist. A patient could ask “Could you please turn my call?”

To stay specific time, a patient could say “Please call me anytime before 9 o’clock.”

That the end of part 2. Be sure to take out part 3.



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