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.

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


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!

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Worksheet125.52 KB

Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by nancyvirginiare on Wed, 13/01/2021 - 20:13

Was a few weeks ago. I was coming to USA from Panama and my syster asked me to bring her some things that she had fogotten in Panama.

Submitted by tmzch on Sun, 10/01/2021 - 19:37

It was two weeks before the Christmas. My chief needed my help for wrote important thing in short time. I worked hardly even after job hours until New Year.

Submitted by Joesph on Wed, 06/01/2021 - 14:33

Im asked my wife a favor to speak with me English all the time to increase my English skills and vocabulary, But she always forget that, and that's make me furious.

Submitted by YewandeAdeosun on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 18:34

Yesterday. I had to go out of my comfort zone to help my mom send some parcels

Submitted by YewandeAdeosun on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 18:33

Yesterday. I had to travel a long distance because someone asked me as a favor

Submitted by estefanyk212 on Mon, 21/12/2020 - 16:00

The last time that I made a favour was the last week that I had to help to a person from my job with a final report.

Submitted by Kp on Thu, 17/12/2020 - 15:19

It’s been while i didn’t give favour anyone but the last time, I helped my friend with his college assignment because he was working on that day.

Submitted by Ekowe on Wed, 16/12/2020 - 04:54

i did a favour to my leader of medical team. She must write a report but she hadn't all data to this report. She please me to write it for her yerstayday.

Submitted by Thu Ha Nguyen on Mon, 07/12/2020 - 14:10

My boss just asked me if I drive to the office on Thursday, even though I have a class at the university. I determined to refuse it. Because I don´t want to miss the class. Work is not as important as my study.

Submitted by NOURHAN93 on Sat, 05/12/2020 - 02:06

in pandamic those days, we cant meet with people hehehehhe

Submitted by loveiseverything on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 06:56

It was last week. One of my colleague needed to attend her test on driver license, so I helped her handle her job.

Submitted by WalaaHayek on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 15:13

Two days ago was the last time that I did a favour for someone, when my friend ask me to do her a favour, I designed a logo for her project and she was very thankful.

Submitted by Marina Hornus on Sat, 28/11/2020 - 21:12

Hello, The last time that I did a favor was a couple of weeks ago. I have a friend who does not know how to spend her money, and she never arrays to the end of the month because she gets off of money so, she always asks me for money then she gives me back.

Submitted by Anara SN on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 07:16

Usually every day I am asking a favour to be quiete while I study from my kids. In daily live I don't need a favour from another people, and I think it is good for me.

Submitted by Rodrigo Abrantes on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 23:07

I do favors all the time. Today I did favors for my children, my wife and my mother.

Submitted by Pola on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 14:43

I offered a favour to my friend last month, when he was asking me for a favour but in fact I managed to for him although I was very busy.

Submitted by farhad zada on Wed, 18/11/2020 - 07:24

I did yesterday for my friend. He wanted me to go with him and do something for it. I was so bussy but he is my friend and i could not reject him.

Submitted by AprilApple on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 09:58

Just a few days ago I ask for a favour. Sometimes is really hard. You need a thicker face.

Submitted by Razy on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 10:07

last week was the last time that I did a favour for my husband. He asked me to call his doctor and make him an appointment because he was working at that time. I called them but they didn't answer, so I wanted to call them later on the same day. However, I forgot it and became ashamed of myself.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 12:55

Thank you for the useful lesson! ;)

Submitted by Khin Thandar Htun on Sat, 07/11/2020 - 03:03

Thanks a lot for the interesting lesson!

Submitted by samssira on Fri, 30/10/2020 - 14:56

Hello, I thought that we say asking for favour not asking a favour..

Submitted by vsanchez75 on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 15:07

I do not remember but surely I did something for someone. Sometimes you have to make a favour for someone, in the job in yoir home or community. The problem is when it seems an obligation, in Mexico is commun.

Submitted by fahri on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 03:42

Dear team. From the lesson above. I would if I could,but I can't. The question: What is that means 'I would if I could' ???? Thank you very much for your answer

Hi fahri,

This sentence refers to the previous one, where Noelia asks Paul: Is there any chance you could work late tonight?

Paul's reply means I would (work late tonight) if I could (work late tonight). In other words, he would be willing to do that, but it's not possible. He doesn't repeat the verb phrase work late tonight because it's fine to just say would and could alone if it's clear what verb phrase it refers to.

Does that make sense?

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fahri on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 12:35

In reply to by Jonathan R

Your answer very clear and very detail. I am happy. Thank you very much sir

Submitted by Khin Mar Mya on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 16:22

Thank you so much for your good lessons.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 12:42

i really don't remember

Submitted by Bayader Gasmalla on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 17:21

My friends always ask me to do a favour for them ,i find it very moral thing however i love introducing help wherever i could ♥

Submitted by DEUTOU DEUTOU Martin on Wed, 30/09/2020 - 13:17

thanks for lesson

Submitted by cittàutopica on Mon, 14/09/2020 - 16:05

It happen often that my two nieces asks me for some favours, that is buying some clothes for their kids, seeing as I live in a city, where there are more stores than in their town.

Submitted by RomanVK on Fri, 04/09/2020 - 06:16

Now I am working as project manager. That is why I often ask others for a favour. Other people ask me a favour too. It is good when there are people who can help each other.

Submitted by Fsh on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 23:54

A few days ago ,I did a favor to my friend. She asked me some questions about her health problem because I am a doctor,and I told her that I think she was infected by corona virus,so I gave her some recommendations to get better.

Submitted by Rodolfo González on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 03:38

I did a favour this morning to a coworker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is amazing joinning on this group.

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

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,


The LearnEnglish Team

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

Thanks for the lesson

Submitted by abudo93 on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 17:45

The last time when I borrowed my friend some money was about 2 years ago and that money hasn't returned until today.