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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 925 English Lesson 22 - How to Make a Request in English | Learn Business English with 925 English

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You're learning with nine to five English business English for the workplace

Hi Tim here with another

nine-to-five English lesson. In today's lesson

We're going to learn how to make requests in English.

There's a reason why making requests is one of the first things

english-speaking parents teach their children.

It's because we can't get along in life and that includes work without

asking people to give us things or to do things for us. In

some situations our

Requests can be quite direct.

For example with people, you know, well or colleagues you don't need to be too formal.

In this case you can make a question with

can you or

could I get you to

That's a simple and direct way to ask someone to do something

How about a bit of practice making direct requests? We'll try some examples

Listen to each example then repeat it yourself ready. Let's get started

Can you help me with this presentation

Take this down to the printer for me, please

Could I get you to make a pot of coffee?

I need those documents right away

As you heard one very easy way to make a direct request

Is to tell someone to do something

followed by please

That's alright when you have a close working relationship with someone or when you are the boss

But that can sound too direct in many situations

if you're not sure, then you should really try to be more careful or polite and

being polite

Requires more than just adding please to the end of a sentence

the two most useful words for making careful requests are could and


you might say

could you or

Would you do something?

but using a longer

Expression will make your request even more polite

that might mean saying

Do you think you could do something?


Would you mind doing something or?

Even would it be possible to do something?

Let's try some practice with these expressions for making careful requests

once again, repeat the examples

After you hear them

Do you think you could give me a hand with this

Would you mind passing me those files please

If you're not too busy, could you look over my resume

Would it be possible for you to give me a ride

Nice work and did you notice the if

question in those examples

Adding an if statement can make a question with could you?

extra polite

For example, you might say if you have a bit of time. Could you review my report now?

What if someone makes that request to you

If a colleague asks you to review his report, how can you respond?


Just like responding to offers

It's not usually enough just to say yes or no

We usually add something to the basic answer

If you want to say, yes, you might add. No problem, or I can do that and

If the answer is no

You might explain why you can't or say that you're afraid you can't

In this case saying I'm afraid

Doesn't mean you're scared. It just means I'm sorry, but

Let's try some more practice this time. You'll be responding to requests. Here we go

Sure, not a problem

Yeah, I can do that

Sorry, but I'm a bit too busy

I'm afraid I won't be able to

Did you notice that none of those examples used the words yes or no?

for yes, we often say sure or yeah and

instead of no which can sound too direct we can use sorry or

Nothing at all

okay, so we've practiced making and

responding to requests

But now let's see how this sounds in a conversation

Let's listen to a short dialogue between Paul and Laura

Paul needs some help with the accounts he's working on so he's asking Laura to help him

Do you think you could help me with the accounts?

Sorry, but I'm a bit too busy today

Okay, then what about tomorrow?

Yeah, I can do that

As you heard Laura says no to Paul's first request

But she agrees to his second one

Now it's your turn to practice

Will repeat the dialogue but this time we're going to be bout the second speakers words

You will have to say those parts yourself

Remember to say no to the first request but agree to the second one

Do you think you could help me with the accounts?

Okay, then what about tomorrow

Okay that just about does it for this lesson we've learned some great ways to make and

respond to requests

We'll be back soon with another

9 to 5 English lesson

Until then so long and happy learning

The Description of 925 English Lesson 22 - How to Make a Request in English | Learn Business English with 925 English