Uncategorized

Conversation strategies: Asking for favors

Episode 10

Can you do me a favor? Yes, that’s the typical question we use for making requests, but there are some other expressions that help us sound more polite. Look at the four different ways used for asking for favors below.

Asking for a favor politely

You can use these expressions to ask for a favor politely. They are useful in formal situations or

if you are asking someone a big favor

I was wondering, . . .

  • I was wondering, could you help me write my resume?
  • I was wondering, could you write a reference for me?
  • I was wondering, could you take care of my dog while I’m away?
  • I was wondering, could you drive me to the hospital?
  • I was wondering, could you pick up my daughter from school?
  • I was wondering, could you swap with me?

 Swap [intransitive, transitive] to do the thing that someone else has been doing, and let them do the thing that you have been doing SYN change 

  • They decided to swap roles for the day.
  • She ended up swapping jobs with her secretary.

I was wondering if I / you could . . .

  • I was wondering if I could ask you something.
  • I was wondering if you could help me write my resume.
  • I was wondering if you could write a reference for me.
  • I was wondering if you could drive me to the hospital.
  • I was wondering if you could pick up my daughter from school.
  • I was wondering if you’d like to swap with me.

I wanted to . . .

  • Well, I wanted to ask a favor, actually.
  • I wanted to ask you something.

Would it be all right / OK with you if I . . . ? (+ past form of verb)

  • Would it be OK with you if I picked it up next Tuesday?
  • Would it be Ok if you did the dishes tonight?
  • Would it be all right if you took the dog for a walk?

Responses

All right, OK, So, Sure

You can use All right, OK, and Sure to agree to requests:

A: I was wondering if I could ask you something.

B: Sure.

A: I was wondering, could you write a reference for me?

B: OK

A: I was wondering if you could drive me to the hospital.

B: Sure

Let’s practice

  1. You are busy and you need your roommate to take your dog for a walk.
  2. You are going to run some errands and you need your friend pick up your daughter from school.
  3. You and your friend are leaving a party. Your friend drove, but you didn’t. now you’re really tired.
  4. Your roommate is going grocery shopping and you need some milk.
  5. You didn’t understand something your teacher said. You need her to repeat.
  6. Your car broke down this morning and I had to take a taxi. I don’t have a ride home.
  7. You need to get to the bank by 4 p.m. but you finish work at 5pm.

Answers:

  1. I was wondering, could you take the dog for a walk tonight?
  2. I wanted to ask a favor, could you pick up my daughter from school?
  3. Would it be Ok if you drove home tonight? I had too many drinks.
  4. I was wondering if you could pick up some milk for me.
  5. I wanted to ask a favor, I was wondering if you could repeat the grammar explanation.
  6. I was wondering if you could give me a ride home after work. I think my house is on your way.
  7. I need to get to the bank by 4 p.m. Would it be all right if I left work a few minutes early today? so I can be sure I get there in time…

You can use All right, OK, and So to move a conversation to a new phase or topic:

Situation 1: The nanny didn’t show up today and you have no one to take care of your child.

A: Well, I wanted to ask a favor, actually.

B: All right. So, what can I do for you?

A: Would it be all right if worked from home today?

B: Sure.

Situation 2: You have a job interview at the same time your daughter leaves school.

A: Well, I wanted to ask a favor, actually.

B: All right. So, what can I do for you?

A: I was wondering if you could pick up my daughter from school.

B: Sure. What time should I be there?

Situation 3: You and your friend are leaving a party. Your friend drove, but you didn’t. now you’re really tired.

A: Well, I wanted to ask a favor, actually.

B: All right. So, what can I do for you?

B: Would it be all right if I left work a few minutes early today? so I can be sure I get there in time…

B: Right, you can leave as soon as you’re done with the report.

To listen to this episode click on the button below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s