How to Speak Politely in English | English for Business (with workbook) | Tate Hancock | Skillshare

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How to Speak Politely in English | English for Business (with workbook)

teacher avatar Tate Hancock, English Trainer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (43m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Course!

    • 2. How to Use this Class

    • 3. Introduction to Polite English

    • 4. Direct Requests in English

    • 5. Casual Requests in English

    • 6. Polite Requests in English

    • 7. Grading Requests

    • 8. Indirect Questions

    • 9. Common Mistakes with Indirect Questions

    • 10. 2-Step Questions

    • 11. Would you mind...?

    • 12. Final Assessment

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About This Class

If you are an English learner and want to be more polite at work, this class is perfect for you.

In this class, we are going to learn:

  • When it is appropriate to be polite in Business English.
  • How to grade your language to be more or less polite in each situation.
  • Three super-important tricks for using indirect questions
  • How to use expressions like 'Would you mind...?' and 'Could you tell me...?'.

And so much more.

This is NOT just another course where a teacher reads you all the grammar rules.

No...these lessons are interactive. Download he workbook that goes with the course and fill in notes as you go. Complete activities to practice what you've learned. You will finish this class not only knowing polite structures, but able to actually use them in the real world.

This class isn't just about grammar rules. You'll also...

  • See lots of examples of¬†speaking politely in English
  • Practice speaking politely in lots of real-life situations
  • Learn new phrases that you can implement TODAY in your business conversations.


Is this class right for me?

If you are at an intermediate English level, then I'm sure there are parts of this course that you didn't already know. And even if you have heard these terms before, it's always good to get more practice.

What do I need for this course?

Nothing. You will need to download the PDF document that is included on the course page. You'll simply fill in the pages as you go and use the videos for reference. 

How long is the class?

There are two parts to this class.

  1. The videos are meant to guide you and help you understand the topics we discuss.
  2. The workbook is where you will complete your part of the course.

If you do everything in the course, it will take you between 1 - 1.5 hours to complete.

What if I don't understand?

I go slowly in each video and use lots of examples to make sure everything is clear. You are also free to watch each video with subtitles.

About the Teacher

My name is Tate and I help adult English learners improve their English skills on my website, Engalia. I've worked personally with software developers, poker pros, athletes, CEOs from all around the world to build their English base and reach their goals. Some of my students want to travel to English speaking countries, others have meetings every day in English. Whatever the case, I'm here to help.

Now, I'm sharing that knowledge with you, here on Skillshare. Join my classes and build your English brain.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tate Hancock

English Trainer


Do you need to speak better English for work?

Do you need to speak to international clients and be understood in meetings in English?

Do you want to finally express yourself clearly in English? 

These are the skills I specialize in.

I've been teaching English online and in-person since 2015. I've helped thousands of learners improve their English. Just look at these success stories:

"Today I found I've made huge progress in English." -Xin, Oracle engineer who needed to improve his English to get a promotion at work.

"Tate can help you find the best way to make progress!" - Leo, Russian developer who passed his interviews and has now moved to California to work in Silicon Valley

In all of my classes, we focus on the language you n... See full profile

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1. Welcome to the Course!: Welcome to this class all about how to speak politely in English. In this video series, you're going to learn some really important tools that you can use to be more diplomatic and more polite, especially when making requests or asking for help in English. This is especially useful if you work in an English speaking environment or deal with English on a regular basis. But even if you don't, this is, it's still a good idea to learn these rules. Politeness is not treated the same way around the world. A lot of the English learners I have worked with have gotten into a lot of trouble when they try to apply the rules of their own culture to English. Often they sound too direct to confrontational or just plain rude or impolite. So in this class, I'm going to teach you how to avoid these problems. By the end of this course, you will be able to confidently speak with your friends, your colleagues, your managers, your, your clients and strangers, and know that you are not accidentally offending anybody. So if you're ready, go ahead and join me in our first video and I'll see you there. 2. How to Use this Class: The first thing you should do now is download the workbook that comes with this course. In the workbook, you can actually write in and complete the activities directly in the document. And you can take notes to review in the future when you want to review this material. So go ahead and download the workbook so that you have this to review. And I'll see you in the first video. 3. Introduction to Polite English: In this series of videos, we're going to look at how to make requests in English. And we're going to see how to make requests or ask for help from different people in different situations. So my first question for you is this one here. It says, How would you ask each of these people for help? In the top we can see, and you can see maybe a businessman, We can see maybe your boss. So how would you ask your boss for help? In the second one, we can see maybe a grandmother may be an elderly person or maybe just a stranger. So how would you ask them? And finally at the bottom we can see maybe a partner, maybe a friend, maybe a colleague, someone that you're very familiar with. So how would you ask this person for help or how would you ask this and make a request from this person? Right now, I want you to think about this just to get us started here, but I'm going to give you some answers that I thought of. And here they are. So we have, so as you can see, there are lots of ways to ask for help or to make requests from in English. For example, we see at the bottom here we see just a direct statement, print a copy for me. We see expressions like Would you mind would you mind helping me, or could you show me how to use this? We see other expressions like a modal verbs like could and will, right? So there are lots of ways that we can ask for help or ask or make requests in English. And we're going to look at these one by one in our next couple of videos so that you can take these tools and have all of these different ways to make requests in lots of different situations. All right, if you're ready, then go ahead and click to the next video and I'll see you there. 4. Direct Requests in English: In our last video, we looked at lots of different ways that you can make requests of people in English. We saw lots of different ways that we still see on the screen here. And we're going to start today by looking at this one here. We're going to look at how to make direct requests. Now, this is the number one most commonly used way of giving, of making requests by English learners. So when I talk to my students, this is the way that I see most people using. And I'm going to show you today why that is not a good idea. So in this lesson, we're going to look at first how to form these direct requests. We're going to see when you should use them and when you shouldn't use them. Alright, so let's get started. To begin with. We can see the form of the direct requests, this one here it says print a copy forming. And what we're doing here is we're using a form in English called the imperative. Ferreted. That's it right there, the imperative, and it's actually called the imperative mood, but that doesn't matter. Okay? The imperative is the form that we use to make direct requests and a few other things in English as well. And it's very simple to form. All we need to do is take the root form of the verb, also known as the infinitive, the infinity, infinity to live. I, sorry, sorry for the handwriting the infinitive form of the verb and put it at the beginning. And that's all it is, the infinitive form. And that's an, another word for the infinitive is the root form. The base form of the verb know past-tense, no participles, nothing special, just the root base form of the verb. And if we put this at the beginning of the sentence, put this at the beginning of the sentence, then we understand that it is a direct request. Now, let's look at some situations where we can use direct requests. For example, we can use, we can see these ones on the screen here. We use the imperative when politeness is not necessary. That's when you should use this direct request. Direct requests should be used when politeness is not necessary. Now, an example of this is right here. We have our pilot. So this person is a pilot and the pilot is telling his staff or telling his passengers what to do. He says Prepare for landing, right? He doesn't need to be polite in this case, it's more important for him to be concise or for him to be direct, right? He's telling us what to do. He needs to be clear, right? Not polite. Another situation where it's okay to use the imperative is, when is it maybe a parent talking to their child? The parent says Go to your room. The parent is making a request of the child, is telling them to do something, but they don't need to be polite because that's just not how that relationship generally works, right? They don't need to say if it's not too much trouble, would you mind not go to your room? And the final one here is for professional advice or for professional statements like this from a doctor to a patient. Very similar to our pilot. Take two and call me in the morning. So a doctor giving a patient a command or giving them or making a request of them. Generally, we can use less or we can use more direct forms. We don't need to be so polite, okay? So when politeness is not necessary, we can use these direct requests. However, the imperative, we can see it here. The imperative is generally understood as a demand or an order instead of as a request. So this is the problem. I see lots of my English learners, lots of English learners getting into where they say this right here, they say, print a copy for me, which is perfectly fine. They're making a request. And what you think you're saying is this right here, you're think you're saying with a smile, so it's okay. But what English learner, what, what, what native English speakers often here in the US, the UK, and the rest of the English-speaking world is they hear a command that here at demand or an order. They hear it like this. Maybe not quite this extreme, but the idea is the same. You are using this direct requests structure too much. Then you may see that people react negatively to it. They hear a command or the demand or an order when really you think you're making a request, right? So this is the biggest problem that I see people. So in our next couple of videos, we're going to start looking at how you can change your request to make them more casual, to make them more polite, to make them much more polite. To see, we're going to look at how to use how to make requests in different situations. So go ahead and fill in the information in your workbook and I'll see you in the next video. 5. Casual Requests in English: Now that we've seen what a direct request looks like, let's now take a look at how we can make our requests just a little bit less direct and therefore a little bit less rude to some people. And we're going to do that by using, by making a request just like this one here. And this is called a casual request. A casual requests, we're not quite at polite requests yet right now we're still at casual requests. So these are the ones that you should use in most situations. In most cases, you should make casual requests. And we do this, as you can see here, we make casual requests with family, friends, and colleagues. We generally make requests by asking casual questions. Now, there are some things that you need to notice as we move from a direct request to a casual request. So we have here an example of this. We have the word take a, we have the sentence. Take a look at this design there we have our direct, direct request. Request. Alright? We have our direct requests there. And we want to convert that into a more casual requests. So what do we do? Instead of saying take, we're going to add a verb at the beginning, and moreover, we're going to use the word will. Ok? So now we add will at the beginning and we make this into a question. So when we make casual requests, they're actually in the form of a question, not a statement. And that's when we know that we are getting to be a little bit more casual. Now, these casual requests, we can make them with the word will or we can make them with the word can. So both the words can and will can be used to make casual requests. We can say, can you look at this design? Or we can say, will you look at this design? And there's really not much difference between them. They're basically the same idea. Okay, so we can say can you look or will you look? And we have the same basic idea. Okay, both of those can be casual. Now, these requests, these casual requests are great if we're talking to our friends, to our family, and to our colleagues, and we can say this, they should be our go to weigh the most commonly used way, the go-to way of making small requests. So if we're saying something small, not a big giant requests, not something crazy, but just a regular 11 that we make every day. In this case, the casual requests with can and will are generally the best way to go. So if you know somebody very well, if there are friend, family, or colleague, and if it's a small request, you should use these casual requests. And we can see some examples here, like this one. It says, will you explain how to use the new printer? A very small request, right? And we can see that these people look like they're probably colleagues there, probably friends at work, but they're very familiar with each other. So it works perfectly. A lot of people think are a lot of, a lot of English learners I talked to they think that when you're at work, you need to be very, very formal and very polite all the time. And that's not always true. When you know somebody very well, you don't need to be very polite. You can be more casual with them. Here it says, will you explain how to use the new printer? That's a very small request to a colleague. Here's his Jose. Can you go over the notes with me? Jose, can you go over the notes with me, right. So there we go. That's perfect. Will you meet me for lunch on Thursday? And excellent. Small request once again. And finally, can you help me move this table, remove this table from one place to another, right? So all of these are examples of small requests and we can see that these people are probably very familiar with each other. So now you should be following along in your workbook. Do you have some activities to complete just to practice these casual requests, in our next video, we're going to start looking at more polite language. So how to be a bit more polite? So finish up what you need to do in your workbook, and I'll see you in the next video. 6. Polite Requests in English: Now that we've seen how to make direct requests and casual requests, it's time for what you've been waiting for, its time for time to learn about how to make polite requests. These are the ones that you should use at work in a lot of situations. So let's look at them. We have an example here where it says, Could you help me finish something? This is the one we're looking at now. This is our polite request. And so let's see what is different about this question versus our casual requests that we saw before. So here we can see our casual requests, some examples of them. Here's Can you show me how to use the new copy machine? And will you pass me the stapler? And to make these sentences polite, all we've done, the only difference that we've made is to change the word can into its past form, which is, could. We take will and we change it into its past form, which is wood. So for casual requests, we generally use can and we'll for when we're making these requests and for formal or for polite requests, we use could and would. Okay, that's the difference. That's the biggest difference between casual requests and polite requests. Now there are some extra pieces to this that we're going to see in future videos. But right now, let's look at three situations, three major situations where you should generally use polite requests. Ok, so here's the first one. You should use polite requests in meetings and other formal situations. So if you're in a formal situation like a business meeting, it's generally good to use polite requests. A good example of that is here, where our boss, let's say, let's say the manager here or the leader of the meeting says, Aaron, would you walk us through the proposal? Would you walk us through the proposal? Right. This is a polite requests and a very nice way of asking Aaron to do something. So the first reason that we use polite requests is in meetings and other formal situations. This second reason that we use polite requests are anytime that we are talking to strangers. Now before we said that we use casual requests with people that we know, our friends, our family, and our colleagues. But when we talk to strangers on the street, for example, right? Or, or in business when we talk to clients, when we talk to people we don't know very well. We generally choose polite expressions. So we can see, for example here, if you want to know how to get to the train station, I know lots of people who would walk up to a stranger and they'd say, where's the train station. But in English, remember that that is very direct and we interpret that or we understand that to be a bit rude. So a better thing to say would be this here, would be to say, excuse me, and always good to be too polite. Could you tell me how to get to the to the train station? Could you tell me how to get to the transcription? So could you write so again, received that word could. So the first one is in meetings and formal situations. The second is with strangers. Okay, now, the third reason is for Big requests. Remember we said casual requests for small. Requests for small asks at, and then we use polite requests for our big Requests. For example, this one here. One we could say maybe this is the boss and he's telling, he's asking his employee he's making a request, but a big one. Could you move to Tulsa to work on the big project? Could you move yourself and your family to another city? That's a big request. And when we have big requests, we need to ask them ask them politely. Okay? So those are our three reasons. When we are in formal situations, when we want or when we are talking to strangers. And for big requests, if you can remember those three situations, you'll be able to use polite requests in all the right times. So now you've seen how to form direct requests, casual and polite requests. In our next couple of videos, we're going to look at some more information about how to form different types of polite requests and how to ask for things in some more different ways. Alright, I'll see you in the next videos. 7. Grading Requests: So we've just covered direct, casual and polite requests, but I don't want you to think that you should always be polite or that you should always be casual or that you should always be direct. There are situations where each of these types of requests are appropriate. So let's look at them now. Let's look at why we should use each one in each case. Let's start with our direct requests. Remember that we start the or that we, that the direct requests are in the imperative, imperative form, meaning that we just start with the verb directly, right? We just start with a verb, the verb directly in the imperative. And we use this. We said four demands and orders. Like a parent to a child who said a apparent tells a child, they say Go to your room. They don't say would you mind if it's not too much trouble? No. They say Go to your room. The second reason that we use it, we said is for professional advice. For example, our pilot advising or or or, or requesting that his that the passengers sit down or or a doctor and giving advice or making a request to a, to a patient. Then we also said that we can use this for emergencies. Now we didn't say this one before, but this is probably the best time you should use direct requests, right? We said that we use direct requests when politeness is not important and in emergencies, politeness is not important. You say Help, You did not say If you don't mind, no, you say help. We also looked at our casual requests and we said that there are several times where we should use these. We said that we should use them in informal situations, right? We said that we should use them in informal situations like asking somebody to lunch. Will you join me for lunch? Will you join me? That's a nice, informal situation. We can contrast this by looking at our polite polite requests and saying that we used them in formal situations. So in a business meeting saying would you present your proposal? Remember we say Will for casual and we say wood for polite. We said that with casual requests, we generally are asking these to our friends, our family, and our colleagues, basically, the people that we know very well. We may use somebody's name when we speak to them like Allen or Aaron. We've seen these examples before. Whereas with our polite requests were generally asking strangers or, or maybe people who are higher up the noss, er, or informal situations. But we should always use polite expressions with strangers. If we say something like, excuse me, then we're generally going to follow that up with a polite question. And finally, we said we use our casual requests for small requests for small asks like passing me a folder, passing something. It says it's a small request. And we use our polite requests for big requests like cuz you work on Saturday, that's a big request. Could you move to a new city? That's a big request. Anything that is big generally needs to be polite. Now, I have written here that you should think of the casual as your default. And that's because most of the situations you find yourself in, in real life are informal situations with people that you know, friends and family and our small requests, right? Most of the time these are the things that we're asking for. And so you should kind of think that casual requests with will and can should be your default. And then you can decide if it's a specific situation, if it's a demand or an order or professional advice or an emergency, then switched to a direct request. And if you are in a formal situation with a stranger or it's a big request, then you should switch too polite sets a good framework for thinking of this, generally think to go casual and you can adjust based on the situation. Now to show that we don't always have just one way of making requests. I have this picture that I found online. It's going around online. And it's just a ridiculous situation where this person, who is, this person down here who is, we'll say drowning. Thus this word here to drown, because the word to fall down in the water and to die, he's drowning. In one panel he says Help. And in one panel he is very polite. He says, excuse me, sir, I'm terribly sorry to bother you, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Right? And so you can see in this ridiculous situation that we know that it's not always appropriate to be polite. Sometimes you need to ask for help in a more direct way. So these were the basics. These were the three different types of making requests in English. In the next couple of videos, we're going to see some intricacy, some smaller elements, and some different ways to be more and more polite when we're making our requests. Alright, so finish this stuff up in your workbook and I'll see you in the next video. 8. Indirect Questions: So now that we've seen are direct requests, we've seen our casual requests, and we've seen our polite requests. Let's now look at this situation right here because something funny happens when we start to get more and more polite. This one here says, could you show me how to use this new software and this word? How is an interesting thing here we're going to look at how to use that in this next section here. So what we have is called an indirect question and indirect questions. So let's look at the difference between an indirect question and a direct question. Down here we see a direct question. Direct. This one says, is the train station nearby. So maybe you are this person. You are in a, in a foreign city and you want to know if the train station is nearby. So you walk up to somebody and you say this is the train station nearby. That's fine. That's very direct and very clear. But remember that the person you're talking to is probably a stranger. And in our last class or last lecture, we talked about how we always use polite structures with strangers. So being direct probably isn't the best way to go. Instead, you could ask this question. You could say, Excuse me, could you tell me if the train station is nearby? And this would be an indirect indirect question. Okay? Now, it's more complicated of course, but it is considered more polite, okay, and when we talk to strangers, We need to be polite. So let's see now how to form these indirect questions. Let's break them down so that's a little bit, may hopefully a little clearer. So here we go. Here is an example of, again, our direct question and our indirect question. Our direct question is the train station nearby and are indirect question, could you tell me if the train station is nearby? And we're going to break this down into three parts. So the first part is what we call an indirect question, starter. This is a phrase or an expression that we can use to start an indirect question. Could you tell me is an excellent one? Do you know is another good one? There are lots of good wins. The next thing you'll see is this word if. Now you see the word if in a yes or no question. What we see here, this right here is called a yes no question. Question. The reason it's called a yes or no question is because the response is yes or no. Is the train station nearby? Yes, it is or no, it isn't. Right. So in a yes or no question, in a normal question that starts with a word like is or does, or does. You could also see in some cases, not in this question but in others, you're going to put the word if in your indirect question. Then the last part of this green part here, the train station is nearby. We have here our affirmative sentence structure. The affirmative sentence structure, not the question, not the question structure. Notice here we say is the train station nearby. We have our question. We have is the train station, the train station nearby? And here we say the train station is nearby. Notice that it changes, right? We cannot simply add Could you tell me in front of our question it doesn't work like that. So we need to use these three parts. We have our indirect question starter, we have the word if, and we have the affirmative sentence structure, just a regular sentence. Okay? Now that's four are yes, no questions. That's what this is. This is four. Now we also have another type of question, which is called an information question. Information question, information. Because we're asking for information. In this case, we start our sentence with when, but we could also start it with why or how or what. Alright, any question that starts with one of these words is an information question. When is the train leaving? The train is leaving at five o'clock. That's information. And in this case, we need to change something instead of using the word if we don't use the word if in this case, now we're going to take that same question word and we're going to put it into our sentence and we're going to replace the word if. So, now we still have our indirect question starter. Could you tell me? We still have our affirmative sentence structure. The train is leaving, but now we don't say if we have our question word, we have our question word there. Okay. So now we say, could you tell me when the train is leaving? Alright, so that's how we form our indirect questions. In the next video, we're going to look at some different ways are some common mistakes that people make with indirect questions. We're going to look at it in a little more detail. But for now in this video, I want to give you a couple good in indirect questions starters that you can use. We've already seen one, this one here. Can you tell me or could you tell me? Remember generally we're asking strangers, We want to be polite. So could is the better option, but you can also use can. Another one here is, do you know, for example, do you know how this computer works? Do you know how to do something if you're asking for information, this is a good one. Another one here is, would you mind telling me this is a very long one, but it's also very polite to would you mind telling me, for example, would you mind telling me what time it is? We could say, what time is it or would you mind telling me what time it is? And finally, the last one here, do you have any idea? Do you have any idea who is hosting the meeting? Do you have any idea who is hosting the meeting? We could say who is hosting the meeting, or do you have any idea who is hosting the meeting? Alright, so these are for indirect questions starters that you can use when you are asking these polite indirect questions. Again, in our next video, we're going to look at common mistakes and make sure that you fix them. But for now you have this to work with. All right, I'll see you in the next video. 9. Common Mistakes with Indirect Questions: In our last video, we looked at how to perform indirect questions in order to be more polite, especially when we're asking things from strangers or from people at work. But there are several mistakes that I see a lot of people making when they're trying to use these indirect questions. And in this lesson, I want to go over a couple of those really common mistakes. Now, fixing these mistakes will help you to sound much more fluent because it's little things like this make a big difference in your fluency. So let's look at it now. We're going to look at rule number one. And again, you should be following along with your workbook, filling in the gaps as we go. All right, but let's start with rule number one. Rule number one says that we need to put the verb to be after the subject in indirect questions. Okay, that's very grammatical. Let's take, let's see an example of this. So again, we have our direct questions and we have our indirect question. And our direct question we say, when is the presentation, when is the presentation? But in our indirect question, we don't say, do you have any idea when is the presentation? No, no, no. We say Do you have any idea when the presentation is? So we are actually switching, we are actually switching the order of these words. Now this is only if you have the verb to be in your sentence. So if you have the verb to be in your sentence, then you need to switch the order in an indirect question, okay, that's rule number one. I hear a lot of people making mistakes with this rule. Rule number two. Rule number two says this. It says we need to omit, omit do and does in indirect questions. In indirect questions, we do not say do or does. They do not exist in indirect questions, they are omitted. An example of this is here. Where do you want to have lunch? Where do you want to have lunch? And our question, our indirect question is, do you know where you want to have lunch? So this word do should be here, right? We imagine it there. And I hear a lot of English speakers are a lot of English learners putting the word do there. But actually we don't include it in indirect questions. The word Do and the word does are gone, they are omitted, they do not exist. Okay, so that's rule number two. And rule number three is that we need to keep auxiliary. Auxiliaries are words like this, will and have and would. Words that and add meaning to the sentence that are extra, that are not our main verb, but our extra verb. So we need to keep auxiliary and main verbs. So in this case will, as the auxiliary, main is the main or finishes the main verb, we need to keep them together in indirect questions. So notice that in irregular question, we split them up, we separate them. When will you finish? When will you finish the design? We split them up, but in indirect questions, we put them back together. So notice again that we are switching the order here between will and you switch the order. So these are the three rules. These are the three big mistakes that I see most English learners making when they tried to use indirect questions. And you can see some examples here of how it looks in an incorrect way and how it looks when it is correct. So here we see, do you know what time is it? Do you know what time is it is incorrect. We cannot say that. We need to say, do you know what time it is? We can not say Can you tell me what time does the bank open? No, no, no. We need to say Can you tell me what time the bank opens? And finally, we do not say do you have any idea when will the meeting start? No-no. We say Do you have any idea when the meeting will start? Okay, these are the three biggest mistakes with indirect questions. Now, you have some practice to do in your workbook and you can fill in the gaps and fill in the information from these charts in your workbook. But go ahead and finish those activities and do, and really think about them because this is something that takes a lot of practice in order to really internalize it in order to get it. Ok. So go do that in your workbook and in, and we're going to continue to our next video where we talk about other ways to be more polite. Okay, I'll see you in the next one. 10. 2-Step Questions: As we continue to talk about polite requests and polite English, it's important to note that sometimes it's an, it's a good idea to use what's called a two-step question. And a two-step question is where we ask a question before we make our request. So to think about this, I want you to give me an example. Imagine you need to ask your boss a question, right? Imagine this is your boss here. You need to ask him a question, but he is in the middle of an interview right now it's a very important interview. How would you get his attention? What would you say to him to get his attention? So pause the video maybe for a moment and try to think if you have any ways that you could get his attention or to get him to pay attention to you. I'm gonna give you a couple of them now, but it's good for you to think about them first. So here we go, here, mine. Here are some good polite expressions that you can use to get somebody's attention. One of them could be this very simply, excuse me, write very good way to do it. Very simple way to do it. It could if you, if someone is very busy, maybe you go a little bit more polite. You say, have you got a moment and you got a moment or could you spare a moment? Another one? Are you busy right now to find out if somebody is busy? Of course. Could I ask you something, some string. So we're asking them if we can ask them. And we have an expression here like this one. It says, I'm sorry to interrupt. So these are right here. There are five good interrupting questions are interrupting expressions, things that you can use to get somebody's attention. And you can generally use them when you want to make a polite request. One example of that is that we saw in our, in our example here with our gentleman who seems very confused. He, before he asked his indirect question here, he asked the person, Hi, are you busy? Or it's just a nice thing that you can do to be a little bit more polite. 11. Would you mind...?: Now that we've seen how to make requests and to be polite in lots of different ways, to be with direct requests, casual polite, and with our indirect questions, we're going to look now at our last structure where we are using this expression. Would you mind? Would you mind? And this is a very, very good way to be extremely polite, to be very, very indirect with somebody, right? So using this expression, would you mind? And we're going to look at that now. So there are two ways that we can use it. The first one looks like this. It says use, would you mind plus the gerund to make a request of someone? To make a request. So that's what we're looking at mostly today, is making requests. And so we're going to generally use this structure. Would you mind plus gerund? Now, a gerund is a very fancy, fancy way of saying the I-N-G form, the I-N-G form of a verb. Okay, so we see an example here. It says, Would you mind, would you mind helping me edit this memo? Would you mind helping me? Would you mind taking taking, Would you mind seeing all of these are just going to be this ING form anytime we use this to make a request, we use the I-N-G form. Would you mind helping me this memo? That's the first way the second way that we can use would you mind is to ask for permission for ourselves? Okay, so in this case we're going to use this structure. We're going to say, would you mind if I went home early? Would you mind if I went home early and we do this to ask for permission? Okay. So this is asking for permission for ourselves. So we asked with the gerund for someone else to work for a request and we asked for permission with if I write if with the past simple and notice that we use the past simple tense because we have Wood. When you see the word, would we generally like to use the past simple because we're talking about a hypothetical idea. And in English, that's how we form the past or that's how we form hypothetical things is with the past tense. Don't worry too much about that if it's confusing right now, just understand that for permission, we need to use if with the past simple tense. That's it. Ok, so that's how we can use, would you mind to make requests and to ask for permission? But there's one extra piece to this structure, would you mind? And that's how we respond to this question. The response to the question is a bit interesting because it is bad. Here we can see an example where maybe we're in a restaurant. It looks like we're in a restaurant here. Maybe an employee is asking if he could go home early. He would. So would you mind if I went home early? And the boss says, Yes, I wouldn't mind. Now we see the word yes. And so we think that this is an affirmative answer. But actually know this answer here means know. This answer means you cannot go home early. And down here where it says no, I wouldn't mind. That means yes. Yes, you can go home early. Alright, so the answer for this one is backwards because we're asking if your mind, if you mind meaning does it bother you, right. So if I say would you mind if I went home early and you say yes, I would. That answer is no. And if you said if I say if you say no, I wouldn't mind. That answer is yes, right? So it can get a bit confusing. So once again, just to review this very quickly, if we want to make a request of someone else of someone else, then we say, Would you mind with the gerund, Would you mind closing the window? And if we ask for permission for ourselves than we ask with this structure, would you mind with if and the past tense? Would you mind if I went home or if I went for lunch? And to respond, of course we need to use the opposite. We need to. If we want to say yes, then we say, No, I wouldn't mind. And if we want to say no than we say yes, I would mind. It's a little bit backwards. Alright, so that's, Would you mind, this is the last structure that we're learning in this video series. In our next video, In our final video, we're going to look at we're going to make a final assessment and see how we can put all of these things together to ask to make requests in lots of different situations. All right, I'll see you in the next video. 12. Final Assessment: Congratulations on making it to this part of this video series. We have seen lots of different ways to make requests in English going from direct to casual polite. We've seen indirect questions and we've seen this expression. Would you mind? So the last thing you need to do is apply this information. So I've given you in your workbook on the last page, I've given you four situations. And your job now is to write down exactly what you want to say in each of those situations. So we're going to cover them now in this video so that you have an idea. But you need to do this on your own because for each of you, this will be a little bit different. So here's the first one. The first one is this. The first situation at a business meeting? You want your colleague to help you handle a difficult customer. And we mistake to handle, we mean to help you with, to help you manage or to deal with a difficult customer. That is situation number one. Situation number two, you would like a colleague to review a proposal before you submit it to your manager, okay. You want to, we want a colleague to review a proposal before you submit it to. The next one is that you see some friends getting on an elevator, but you want them to wait for you. So what do you say to them to get them to wait for you? And finally, your boss is in a meeting. You urgently need to ask him to sign an expense report, so you need him to do something urgently, but he's in a meeting. Okay. So in your workbooks on the last page, write down exactly what you would say in these situations. And if you feel like it, then feel free to post this into our discussions for this course. Alright, now, the last, last part of this is that you need to, now, once you've finished, apply this information in your real life. If you work in English, then you need to go to your work and you need to try to apply these things as much as possible. The best way to see real improvement is by applying these things in the real world.