How to Make Requests in English

When we make requests in English, we ask someone for something, or we ask someone to do something. 

Examples of requests in English are

Can I give you a hand?
Could you do me a favor?
Would you mind driving me home?
Will you take me home?

As you have probably figured out, there are different ways to make requests in English

Grammar Structures to Make Requests in English

To make requests in English you need to know more about some grammar structures.

  1. Expressions with could
  2. Expressions with can
  3. Expressions with will
  4. Direct requests with the verbs “need” and “want”
  5. Expression with would
  6. Expressions with would you mind
  7. Expressions with do you mind if

Requests with Could

The structure to make those requests is:

CouldPronounVerbObject + ?
Could youturn offthe fan?

These are some expressions with could to make requests in English

  1. Could you give me a hand?
  2. Could you help me with this problem?
  3. Could I Borrow your phone for a minute?
  4. Could you carry this for me please?
  5. Could you call a taxi for me please?
  6. Could they wait for me here?
  7. Could you drive me home?
  8. Could you please take me to the dentist?
  9. Could you check the computer?
  10. Could you make some copies for me please?

Requests with Can

The structure to make those requests is:

CanPronounVerbObject + ?
Canyouturn offthe fan?

These are some expressions with can to make requests in English

  1. Mom, can you wake me up at seven o’clock?
  2. Can I have the menu?
  3. Can you pass me the newspaper?
  4. Can you buy the ticket for me?
  5. Can I borrow some money for the tickets?
  6. Can you help me with these reports?
  7. Can we have the day off tomorrow?
  8. Can you stop by my house?

Requests with Will

The structure to make those requests is:

WillPronounVerbObject + ?
Willyouturn offthe fan

These are some expressions with will to make requests in English

  1. Will you carry this for me?
  2. Will you drive me to the airport?
  3. Will you take my daughter home?
  4. Will you buy me a couple of drinks if I give you the money?
  5. Will you send me that important document?
  6. Will you send me an email with the files we prepared?

Requests with Want and Need

The structure to make those requests is:

I Need / WantyouVerbObjeto
I needyouto callMiss Smith
Iwantyouto callMiss Smith

These are some expressions with need and want to make requests in English

  1. I need you to go to my office
  2. She needs you to run a few errands
  3. want you to go to the hospital
  4. She wants you to work overtime

Requests with Would

The structure to make those requests is:

WouldPronounVerbObject + ?
Wouldyouturn offthe fan?

These are some expressions with would to make requests in English

  1. Would you like to go to the club?
  2. Would you like to help me please?
  3. Would you like to buy some groceries for me?
  4. Would you be kind enough to repair my computer?
  5. Would you be willing to help us fix our car tomorrow morning?

Requests with Would you Mind

The structure to make those requests is:

Would you mindVerbObject + ?
Would you mindturning offthe fan?

These are some expressions with wold you mind to make requests in English

  1. Would you mind closing the door?
  2. Would you mind paying for my lunch?
  3. Would you mind driving me home?
  4. Would you mind helping me with my math homework?
  5. Would you mind carrying this suitcase?
  6. Would you mind turning off the TV?
  7. Would you mind turning off the radio?
  8. Would you mind collecting my suit from the dry cleaner’s, please?

Requests with Do you Mind

The structure to make those requests is:

Do you mindIf IVerbObject + ?
Do you mindIf Iturn offthe fan?

These are some common expressions with do you mind

Do you mind if I close the window?
Do you mind if I use your phone for a quick call?
Do you mind if we stop by the supermarket?
Do you mind if we get back home now?
Do you mind if we stop by my mother’s house?

Make a Request Exchanges

These are some exchanges that can be made

  • I need to buy a product on amazon
  • Sure, Can I have your credit card number?
  • Would you mind helping me with the suitcases?
  • Yes, of course
  • My computer is not working, Could you help me?
  • Sure
  • I need a laptop, could you help me ?
  • Yes, come over here 
  • Could you lend me a few dollars?
  • sure, no problem
  • Can I Take the day off?
  • Sure, just talk to Kathy from Human Resources
  • Can you have a look at the computer?
  • Probably later, I am busy
  • Can you make an appointment for me?
  • Sure, what’s the best time for you

A Conversation using Requests

This is a basic example of a conversation in which requests are made

  • John:  Hi, Do you need any help?
  • Luis: Thanks for asking, can you help me with this homework?
  • John: Sure, no problem but I don’t know much about math
  • Luis: Would you mind asking Dereck if he could help us?
  • John:  Yeah, sure, can you send me his phone number?
  • Luis: Alright, check your whatsapp

Example of Requests and their Answers

These are some examples of requests and some possible answers

Can you teach me French?

  • Sure, but I’m busy these days
  • No, I can´t, because I don´t know French.
  • I don’t know anything about French.
  • Sorry I don’t speak French but I’ll try
  • Sure, can you on Friday?

Can you explain Algebra in your Free Time?

  • Yes, of course I can at 3pm
  • Sorry but I don’t have free time
  • Yes, I can. I love Algebra.
  • I couldn’t teach you algebra because that subject is difficult for me.
  • Yes, but let me find my Algebra notebook
  • yes, It would be a pleasure to share my knowledge
  • Are you crazy?, I am not good with algebra 

Could you participate in a meeting on Wednesday at 6 PM?

  • I cannot. I have to work
  • I can participate in the meeting that day and at that time.
  • I’m busy that day, I have classes
  • Yes, I could be there, no problem!
  • I would like to, but that day I have an interview.
  •  I’m sorry. I have a meeting with my family on that night.
  • Yes, I could attend, but I´d be 10 minutes late. 
  • Yes of course I can participate in the meeting on Wednesday. 
  • I’m sorry, I won’t be able to
  • I would like to, but I can´t, I have classes at 6 PM.

Could you write an article for the newspaper?

  • Yes, but I need time
  • Sure, when do you need it?
  • of course, on what topic?
  • Yes, I will think about the article
  • Sure, about what?

Would you mind working during the holy week?

  • I’m sorry I’m going on vacation
  • Sorry, but I need to spend time with my family
  • No, I don’t have a problem with that. I could do it

Would you mind working all night long on the project?

  • Of course, so we can finish it quickly and before the date
  • I’m sorry I’m going on vacation

Would you work next Sunday?

  • No I cannot.  I have an appointment
  • No, I wouldn’t, It’s my day off.
  •  No, It´s my day off.
  • I’m sorry, I can`t, I have plans
  • I’m sorry but I don’t work on Sundays
  • I don’t think so, I already have plans for that day
  • Yes, I would work next Sunday, no problem
  • No problem, see you on Sunday

Would you work on December 25th?

  • I wish I could take the day off
  • Of course not. I would like to spend with my family
  • I will be with my family, sorry
  • Sorry I can’t, I have a meeting with my family.
  • Only if you pay me for the day of work

I need you to work on January First

  • Yes, I can do it 
  • Of course, I will be there
  • I’m sorry I can’t, but Juan could help you.
  • I can’t work that day, ask José
  • Sure, I can do that
  • Sorry, I have trips with the family
  • I’m sorry I can’t, I’ll be with my family
  • Sorry, I wont be available on January first
  • Sorry, I can´t, my family is first
  • sorry I´m at the beach.

I need you to create formulas using Microsoft Excel

  • Sure, I’m working at this moment, can you give me a five minutes?
  • Sure, I am good at using  the Excel Program 
  • Yes, of course, It is very easy  to use Microsoft Excel.
  • Sure, I’ll do it right away.
  • I am really sorry, I don’t know how to create formulas
  • Sorry, I am bad at using Exel, but I could learn.

I want you to create a logo using Canva

  • Oh I’m sorry, I don’t understand Canva, but Charly can you help
  • Sorry I can’t, I’m working on an important report at the moment.
  • I can’t help you, I’m not creative using Canva.
  • I am sorry but I can’t at the moment, but I think Jorge can help you.
  • Sorry!, I don’t use Canva
  • Sorry, I don’t like working with canva
  • Sure, I can do that task

I want you to make a Prezi Presentation

  • Sure, I can start right now.
  • Sure, It will be ready in 30 minutes.
  • Sure, when do you need it?
  • Yes, of course but I don’t like to make presentations on Prezi
  • Of course, count on me
  • What is Prezi?
  • Yes of course but I have never used Prezi I use PowerPoint

Interested in Learning More?

I hope you now know more about how to make requests in English

These are some posts with English lessons that you might be interested in

  1. How to Talk about Facilities in English
  2. How To Make Comparisons in English
  3. How to Talk about Hobbies in English
  4. Safety at Work in English
  5. The Daily Routine in English
  6. How to Talk about Movies in English
  7. How to Express Likes and Dislikes in English
Jose Manuel Campos N - English Professor

About Jose manuel

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share content and lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English