Professional English – Making a Request


Professional English for those that use English as any other instrument of business (computer, telephone, email etc): The means to reach their objectives.

Everything we do in a language has a purpose and this is especially true in our professional lives. So, it seems logical to break down the acquisition of new languages into various chunks or functions that we need to use for each purpose.

Today, we’re talking about why learning a language through functions can be a more effective approach, particularly in the professional world and look at the first of these functions: “Making a request”.


Language Functions

  • What are Language Functions
    • The Definition
    • Professionals Always Have a Purpose
    • Countless Variations of Functions
    • Closely Interrelated with Professional Activities : Meetings, Telephone etc
  • Task Based Learning
    • No one Knows How We Learn a Language – Motivation is the Key
    • Choosing a Method is Down to Individual Choice but Task Based Fits in Well With a Professional’s Objectives
    • What is True Task Based Learning
    • Prabhu and Willis


The Linguist’s Viewpoint

  • To Debase the English Language
    • As We Become Older We All Look Back With Selective Vision / Memory
    • Stephan Fry’s English Delight
    • We Observe and Judge
  • The Linguist’s Approach to Language Functions
    • Consider the following;
    • Setting – Topic – Social Relationship – Attitude



  • Making a Request
    • Many Possibilities
    • Classic Example of Professional English Means Offers a Simple Solution That is Still Professional
  • Impolite
    • I want a coffee.   Another copy, ok?
  • Neutral
    • Can I have another coffee, please?      I’d Like another copy, please.
  • Polite
    • Could I have another coffee, please?    Could I have another copy?
  • Very Polite
    • Do you mind if I ….. May I have ……Might I have……
  •  Too Confusing the Above, So What is the Answer?
  • Being Professional in English’s Advice
    • When Asking To Do Something = Could I + VERB
    • When Asking Someone To Do Something For You = Could You + VERB
  • Works in All Situations in the Professional World
  • Difficult to Forget One Solution
  • Common Criticism is What Happens if the Participant Hears Other Version?



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