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.
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.
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!
You can someone for a favour or ask them a favour -- both forms are commonly used.
All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team
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?
The LearnEnglish Team