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Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. Offers and requests

When we want to offer something or make a request, we can use different structures depending on whether the context is formal or informal.

- Do you want to come with us?
- Thank you. That would be great.

2. How are offers used?

We make an offer or an invitation when we are willing to do something for someone because we want to be polite or helpful. An offer can be accepted or rejected.

  Offers Positive answer Negative answer
+
FORMAL
-
Shall I1 help you with the bags? Yes, please. No thanks / thank you.
Would you like to have dinner with us? Yes, please. I'd love to / I'd like to. It's ok. I can do it myself.
Can I help you? That would be lovely. Don't worry. I'll do it.
Let me carry your bag. Thank you very much. You don't have to.
I will help you with the luggage. That would be very kind of you. It's not necessary.
Do you want a drink? Thank you. That would be great. Not right now.
Do you want me to help you? If you don't mind. No, but thank you anyway.

1Shall is only used with the personal pronouns I and we.

Remember that depending on the situation, one structure or another will be used, taking into account whether we are in a formal or informal context.
- Would you like some tea?
- Yes, please.

There are other expressions that we use to offer our help to someone. These are some of the most common:

Polite Expressions
How may I help you?
Is there anything I can do for you?
What can I do for you?
How can I help you?

3. ¿Cómo se utilizan las requests?

There are several ways to ask someone to do something in a polite way. They usually include the word please.

  Requests Positive answer Negative answer
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FORMAL
-
Would you mind holding1 my bag a second? Not at all. I'm busy at the moment.
Do you mind picking1 him up at school? Certainly. I can't help you because...
Could you pass me the salt, please? No problem. Well, the problem is...
Would you lend me a pen, please? Ok.
Sorry, I can't.
Can you switch off the light, please? Of course. I'm afraid I can't because...
Will you open the door, please? Yes, sure. I'm sorry but...

1Would you mind ans do you mind are followed by a verb in -ing.

- Could you throw away the rubbish?
- Yes, sure.

Remember!

There are a variety of structures that we can use when we want to offer our help or we want someone to do something in a polite way.
  Offers Requests
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FORMAL
-
Shall I help you with the bags? Would you mind holding my bag a second?
Would you like to have dinner with us? Do you mind picking him up at school?
Can I help you? Could you pass me the salt, please?
I will help you with the luggage. Would you lend me a pen, please?
Do you want a drink? Can you switch off the light, please?
Do you want me to help you? Will you open the door, please?

 

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