6 Useful Ways to Ask for Anything in English | Make Requests

What’s the best way to make a request in English? You might say: “Give it to me!” or more politely, you might ask “if it’s no trouble, would you mind giving it to me?” In this video we will show you 6 extremely useful ways to ask for something and explain when each way is most appropriate for the situation.

Put the money in the bag.

Could you put the money in the bag?

If you could put the money in the bag, that would be fantastic.

Which request sounds the most polite?
Is being polite always a good idea?
That’s the topic for today’s Simple
English videos Lesson.

Let’s look at our bank robber again
and see if you can guess which question
is the most direct.

Put the money in the bag.

Could you put the money in the bag?

If you could put the money in the bag,
that would be fantastic.

The answer is A.
But why is it the most direct?
It’s the most direct because it’s
the imperative form of the verb.
It’s the shortest way to express commands.

Option B is more polite
because it’s got a modal verb in it.
Using can or could makes our requests
sound more polite
because it makes the person asking
it sound less bossy.

Option C is the most polite here
because it’s not even asking a question.
The request is made
with the second conditional.

Here are some more ways to make a request.

Would you mind putting the money in the bag?

If it’s no trouble could you just put the money in the bag.

I’d be most grateful if you could put the money in the bag.

Option D begins with “Would you
mind?” and sounds very natural in polite
requests, but remember to use the gerund
form of the verb after the word mind.

Options E and F are both very, very polite
because they both have a conditional phrase in it.

As you can see, the longer
the request is, the more polite it sounds.

You can make it more polite
by adding more words to it.

For example, please, if that’s
okay with you, if you don’t mind,
and phrases like that.

But is it always a good idea to make
a request as polite as it can possibly be?

I don’t think so.

All of these requests will be appropriate
in different situations.

In formal situations,
with people we don’t know, it’s best
to sound more polite.

But in situations
when we need to communicate fast
or with people we know well, it’s better to be direct.

Put the money in the bag.

But what about life and death situations?

Oh dear, his heart has stopped.
I’d be most grateful
if you’d hand me the defibrillator pads.

Thank you.

His heart stopped.
Get the defibrillator pads.

Would you mind waiting at the bar
when we prepare your table?

Oh no, I don’t mind.

Wait at the bar.

Have you ever encountered
a waiter like this?
Tell us in the comments.

All the requests we’ve learned
are grammatically correct,
and it’s up to you to decide
when to be polite, when to be direct.

Now you know how to make requests.

It’s still only half
of what you need to know.

And in the next video,
we’ll show you how to respond.

Oh, and if you like this video,
please share it with a friend.

And that’s it. No, it’s not.
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to subscribe to our channel?

Tell them to subscribe!


Click the links to see more videos on making requests and the verb ‘mind’.



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