Making and Responding Requests (Sentence Building)

Learning Objectives :

By the end of the lesson, pupils should be able to

  1. Identify differences between making requests and responding to offers
  2. Classify the appropriate words that are for polite and causal request making
  3. Form examples of making requests with their responses
  4. understand the difference between making requests and responding to offers.
  5. learn how to use modal auxiliaries to make formal requests.
  6. practice constructing and responding to requests using appropriate grammar and vocabulary.

 

Learning Activities

  1. Pupils in small groups, study the given chart identify the differences between the styles of making and Responding to requests
  2. Pupils in pairs are guided to classify words for polite and casual requests eg “could you open the window for me, please” Casual requests “can you open the window for me, please?
  3. Class discusses the format for responding to a formal invitation invitation
  4. Pupils, in small groups, construct sentences on making and responding requests and share with the class through the group leaders. Eg” can I help you? Yes, please, I want to buy an orange or No, thanks I’m just looking

 

 

Embedded Core Skills

  1. Communication and Collaboration
  2. Critical thinking and problem solving
  3. Leadership skills and Personal Development
  4. Creativity and Imagination

 

 

Learning Materials

  • Charts
  • Flash cards
  • Real objects
  • Web Resources
  • Workbook on modal auxiliaries and examples of requests
  • Whiteboard and markers for examples and practice exercises

Content

Making and Responding Requests (Sentence Building)

 

“Making and Responding to Requests” refers to the language used to ask someone to do something or to respond to someone’s request for you to do something.

Examples of making requests:

  1. Can you please pass the salt?
  2. Can you give me the book?
  3. Could you please take off your raincoat?
  4. Could you please take me to the dentist?
  5. Would you be kind enough to repair my computer?
  6. Do you think you could take me to the supermarket?
  7. Could I ask you to take me home?
  8. Can you tell me what happened?
  9. Could you help me carry this box?
  10. Would you mind giving me a hand with this project?
  11. Can I borrow your pen for a moment?
  12. Would it be possible for you to help me with this task?

Examples of responding to requests:

  1. Sure, here you go. (giving the salt)
  2. Of course, let me grab one side. (helping to carry the box)
  3. I’d be happy to help. (agreeing to help with the project)
  4. Sure, here you are. (giving a pen)
  5. I’d be glad to. (agreeing to help with the task)

Differences between Making Requests and Responding to Offers

Making a request and responding to an offer are two different things, they use different grammatical structures and convey different meanings.

Making a request is when you ask someone to do something for you. It implies that you need or want something to be done, but it is not yet being done. It’s a way to express your needs and express that you are dependant on the help of others. The grammatical structure used to make a request usually includes a modal verb such as “can,” “could,” “would,” “will,” etc.

For example:

  • Can I use your computer, please?” 
  • Could I borrow some money from you, please?” 
  • Do you mind if I turn up the heating?” 
  • Would you mind if I turned up the heating?” 
  • Speaking tipCould is more polite that can.
  • Can you please pass the salt?
  • Could you help me carry this box?
  • Would you mind giving me a hand with this project?

Responding to an offer is when someone else has made a proposal to do something for you. It means that someone else is ready and willing to help you. It doesn’t express that you’re dependant on others. The grammatical structure used to respond to an offer often includes the use of “thank you” or other expressions of gratitude, as well as a verb of acceptance or rejection such as “accept,” “decline,” “appreciate,” etc.

For example:

  • Thank you, I would appreciate that. (accepting an offer of help)
  • No, thank you. I can handle it myself. (declining an offer of help)
  • That’s very kind of you, I accept your offer. (accepting an offer)

In short, making a request is when you are asking for something, while responding to an offer is when you are answering to a proposition already made.

Modal Auxiliaries That Are Used to Make Requests

Modal auxiliaries, also known as modal verbs, are used in English to indicate the speaker’s attitude or level of certainty about an action or event. Some modal auxiliaries, such as “can,” “could,” “may,” “might,” and “shall,” are commonly used to make formal requests. They are used to make polite and more formal requests, usually in formal or professional setting.

Here are some examples of modal auxiliaries used to make formal requests:

  • Can you do me a favour? (more informal)
  • Could you say thanks to your mum for me? (more polite)
  • I’ve finished my homework. Can I go now? (more informal)
  • Could I speak to Amy, please? (more polite)
  • Can you please provide me with the financial report by Friday?
  • Could you possibly give me an update on the progress of the project?
  • May I ask you a question about the proposal?
  • Might I request a meeting with you to discuss the project further?
  • Shall we schedule a meeting next week to discuss the project?
  • Hey, you couldn’t pass me that plate, could you?
  • Can I have a taste?
  • Would you like to come to our house for dinner?
  • Would you like some cake?
  • Would you like to celebrate Chinese New Year with us?

Notice that when making formal requests, it is common to use phrases such as “please” and “possibly” or “if it is not too much trouble” to make the request more polite and less demanding.

It’s important to point out that different modal verbs may have different levels of formality, “could” and “would” are more formal than “can”, and “shall” is the most formal.

Evaluation
  1. Which modal auxiliary is the most appropriate to use when making a formal request? a) Can b) Could c) Would d) Shall
  2. How can you make a request more polite? a) Using assertive language b) Using a more formal modal auxiliary c) Adding a “please” d) Using a more informal modal auxiliary
  3. When responding to a request, which phrase is most appropriate to use? a) No problem b) Of course, let’s go c) Sure, here you go d) I don’t mind
  4. What is the difference between making a request and responding to an offer? a) Making a request is asking for something, responding to an offer is accepting something. b) Making a request is offering something, responding to an offer is accepting something. c) Making a request is asking for something, responding to an offer is declining something d) Making a request is offering something, responding to an offer is declining something
  5. Which of the following is an appropriate way to respond to an offer of help? a) I don’t want your help b) No thanks, I got it c) No thank you. I can handle it myself. d) Of course, let’s do it.
  6. When making a request, which modal auxiliary can be used to suggest a plan of action? a) Will b) Should c) May d) Shall
  7. What should be included in a formal request? a) Using a more formal modal auxiliary b) Using informal language c) Using a more assertive language d) Using a polite language
  8. How can one indicate politeness when making a request? a) Using an informal modal auxiliary b) Using assertive language c) Adding a “please” d) Using a more formal modal auxiliary
  9. What modal auxiliary is commonly used to make a formal request? a) Can b) Would c) Should d) May
  10. Which modal auxiliary is more formal than “Can”? a) Could b) Will c) May d) Should

Presentation :

  1. Introduction (10 minutes): Begin by reviewing the concept of requests and offers and ask the students to provide examples of each. Discuss the importance of polite language and give an overview of the modal auxiliaries that are used to make formal requests.
  2. Review of Modal Auxiliaries (15 minutes): Hand out the worksheet on modal auxiliaries and go over the examples of requests with the students. Discuss the different levels of formality between “can” and “could” and when it would be appropriate to use each.
  3. Practice (20 minutes): Divide the students into small groups and give them a list of scenarios in which they must make and respond to requests. Review the responses as a class and provide feedback on the students’ use of grammar and vocabulary.
  4. Writing Activity (25 minutes): Give the students a writing prompt in which they must make and respond to requests. Remind them to use appropriate modal auxiliaries and polite language. Review and provide feedback on the students’ writing.
  5. Closing (10 minutes): Review the key points of the lesson and ask the students to provide additional examples of requests and responses.

Note: This is a broad structure and details of it can be adjusted depending on the level of your students’ understanding and the time or period that you have in the class.

Fill in the gaps 
  1. When making a request, it is appropriate to use a phrase like “_____ please” to make the request more polite.
  2. The modal auxiliary “_____” is commonly used to make formal requests.
  3. To respond to a request, one can say “_____, here you go”
  4. Making a request is when you are _____ for something.
  5. Responding to an offer is when you are _____ to a proposition already made.
  6. “_____” is more formal than “Can”
  7. _____ is a common phrase to indicate politeness when making a request.
  8. The phrase “_____ you” is often used to make a request less demanding.
  9. To indicate that a request is not urgent, you can use the phrase “if it is not too much _____”
  10. One way to make a request less formal is by using the modal auxiliary “_____”

Answers:

  1. Can
  2. Could
  3. Sure
  4. asking
  5. answering
  6. Could
  7. Please
  8. of trouble
  9. Can
  10. Would

 

 

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