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How do you make requests sound polite?

To make requests sound polite and non-imposing, we commonly use modals like ‘could’ or ‘would’, and put the requests in question forms.

Could you …………………………, please?

Could you possibly …………………………?

I wonder if you could ……………………………………………..

You couldn’t ………………………………………………………., could you?

Do you mind …………………………………………………………?

I’m hoping you can …………………………………………………………

If you don’t mind, could you……………………………………………….?

If……………………………………………could you…………………………….?

Note:

In a restaurant or a shop, you could simply use ‘Could I….’/ ‘Can I….’/ ‘I’d like………………………., please.’ If the options are very limited and there’s not much to be said, it’s enough just to say what is required and add please. For instance: Two tickets for the 9:30 show, please. / Coke, please.

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