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D8. Working latecartoon  

indirect polite requests

Philip was a junior office assistant in a large company. He was quite ambitious, so he was keen to make a good impression on the boss. He often stayed late at the office, to show how committed and hardworking he was. One evening, he was just about to go home when he saw his boss standing in front of the shredder, holding a document.
   ‘Ah, Philip! I’m so glad you’re still here in the office!’ said the boss, ‘Good to see all your hard work and professionalism. Now I wonder if you could help me.’
   ‘Of course, ’ replied Philip. ‘Anything at all. It’s no trouble.’
   ‘Good man! You see, the thing is, my secretary has already gone home and I haven’t got a clue how this thing works. It’s really important that I get this done before tomorrow. If you could do this one more thing, before you go home I’d really appreciate it.’
    ‘No problem,’ said Phil, happy to be asked to do such a simple job.
   He took the document from his boss, turned on the machine, inserted the document and pressed the start button.
   ‘That’s excellent,’ said the boss, as the document vanished into the shredder. ‘I just need two copies.’

Grammar: indirect polite requests

There are many ways to ask for help politely. Using an indirect form often sounds more formal and polite than a direct question.
Could you help me?
I wonder if you could help me?
Can you carry these bags for me?
If you could carry these bags for me I’d really appreciate it.
Pass me those papers.
Do you think you could pass me those papers, please?

Rewrite these sentences in an indirect form.

1.   Lend me some money please.
2.   Can you do me a favour?
3.   Could you give me a lift to the station?
4.   Please can you work late tonight?
5.   Answer my phone while I’m out of the office.
6.   Help me take these boxes upstairs.
7.   Can you explain these figures to me?
8.   Sort these papers out please.
9.   Could you print out two extra copies of this document please?
10. Help me with this ladder please.

Vocabulary exercises

Choose a word to make the opposite expression.

junior         vanish         simple         keen         remove

1.   Tom is always very reluctant to try any new technology.
2.   Alice is working in a senior management position in the company.
3.   Please insert your identification card.
4.   The number will appear when you press this button.
5.   These instructions are very complex.

Choose the correct word to complete these sentences.

    6.   It’s important to do / make / have a good impression when you go for a job interview.
    7.   Don’t mention it. It’s no hard / difficult / trouble at all and I’m only too happy to help out.
    8.   I haven’t got a clue / an idea / a knowledge how to operate this machine.
    9.   I’d really applaud / appreciate / apprehend it if you could help me with this.
    10. The thing is, I need to make / get / do this done before the weekend.