Asking a favour

In this video, Noelia asks Paul for some help. Listen to the language Noelia uses to ask a favour and practise saying the useful phrases.

Instructions

Do the preparation exercise first. Then watch the video and do the exercises to check your understanding and practise the language.

Transcript

Ana: Hi! I'm Ana. Welcome to What to Say!

Do you know what to say when you want to ask a favour? Listen out for useful language for asking a favour. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.

 

Noelia: Paul, have you got a minute? I need a favour.

Paul: I'm a bit busy, but sure, what can I help you with?

Noelia: So, you know the branding job for Active Arctic?

Paul: Of course. It was so good to finally finish that project. It went on and on and on … 

Noelia: Yeah, so … look, I'm really sorry about this, but they want some more changes made.

Paul: Seriously? I've already rewritten that copy, I don't know, like, 20 times?

Noelia: I know. I'm so sorry. Would you be able to work on it this afternoon?

Paul: Well, I'm not really sure if I can, Noelia. I'm finishing the Moosh Monkey social media campaign and they're expecting it by the end of the day.

Noelia: I'd forgotten about that. Is there any chance you could work late tonight?

Paul: Sorry, Noelia. I would if I could, but I can't.

Noelia: Please?

Paul: I'm taking my niece to the cinema for her birthday. It's been planned for ages.

Noelia: OK. Well, then could you come in early tomorrow? I'll make it up to you!

Paul: OK. How?

Noelia: Name your price.

Paul: An extra day's holiday?

Noelia: Can you get in for 5 a.m.?

Paul: 7 a.m.

Noelia: 6 a.m.

Paul: Deal.

Noelia: Deal.

 

Ana: Hello again! Looks like that's an early start for Paul tomorrow, then! So, did you notice the useful phrases used for asking a favour? Listen to me and then repeat. 

 

Have you got a minute?

I need a favour.

What can I help you with?

I'm really sorry about this, but they want some changes. 

Would you be able to work this afternoon?

I'm not really sure if I can.

Is there any chance you could work late?

I would if I could, but I can't.

 

Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to ask a favour in English. Bye for now!

Discussion

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Submitted by Saish on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 11:32

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I remember once I did a favor on my best friend by going all out of my way. My friend was very much interested on visiting a music concert that was happening in some different country than where we live. So his parents were not allowing him initially the permission to attend the concert but after persuading them he got the permission but on condition that I have to accompany him to the concert. His parents have a trust in me, and could never say to no to my friend's request. Hence I decided to go to the concert with my friend even though I am not a concert fan.

Submitted by IKEDA on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 10:46

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I wonder when I asked for a favor recently. When I had an exam online 2 weeks ago, I needed to ask for someone to be proctor to ensure that I didn't cheat. So, I asked a favor to one of my friends to be the proctor.

Submitted by Wei Yan Min on Tue, 18/08/2020 - 17:01

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Some of my friends come to me when they only need my help. After that, they leave me and don't talk to me anymore until they need help. What do I do?
Hi Wei Yan Min I bet some of your "friends" who come to you when they only need your help are fake "friends", unfortunately. You should feel relieved when they leave you and why don't you give them fake advice instead? ;)
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 16:14

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Hmm, it's interesting to learn how to express your face when asking a favor, which seems to be more crucial than just knowing useful phrases...! ;)
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Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 17/08/2020 - 12:06

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Last summer a friend of mine asked me for a favour. He had just bought on credit a townhouse outside the town and asked me to help him with renovation. In was quite urgent because he'd already had another credit for his flat. So he badly needed to move to the new place of living as soon as possible. He wanted to rent out his flat to reduce financial pressure on his family budget. By the way, I haven't mentioned, my friend lives in another country. So, he asked me to help him. I thought about that for some days (I was quite busy those days) and, finally, I bought a ticket on the bus and went to him. Telling the truth, there was a lot to do in his new house and he was extremely busy at work. So, I had to do the job by myself. It was hard and felt exhausted every evening after the day full of work but I was happy to help my friend. Lastly, what are friends for, except to help you when are need it most?

Submitted by Paulo Oliveira… on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 09:02

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It is amazing joinning on this group.

Submitted by Moammar on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 22:24

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please, could you make a favour? or favor?

Hi Moammar,

In British English, the spelling is favour. In American English, the spelling is favor

Here are some useful phrases with this word.

  • to do someone a favour (e.g. Could you do me a favour?)
  • to ask someone a favour
  • to return a favour

I hope that helps. Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by aniley on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 21:35

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Thanks for the lesson