Persuading someone to do something

In this video, Noelia tries to convince Paul to DJ at the office party. Listen to the language Noelia uses for persuading Paul to do something 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 persuade someone to do something? Listen out for useful language for persuading someone to do something. Then, we'll practise saying the new phrases – after this.


Paul: OK. Yeah, all right. I'll send them over tomorrow. OK, yep, bye. People are always asking for favours. Paul, can you do this? Paul, can you do that? 

Noelia: Hey, Paul, have you got a minute?

Paul: Go on, then.

Noelia: I've got a small favour to ask you. 

Paul: Right.

Noelia: So … how would you feel about DJing at the office party next week? 

Paul: Office party? I don't usually do work parties. 

Noelia: Oh, right. So where do you usually DJ then? 

Paul: No, I mean I don't usually go to work parties, let alone DJ at them. 

Noelia: Come on, I think you'd be brilliant at it! 

Paul: Oh, I don't know … 

Noelia: Look, I wouldn't usually ask, but you are the only DJ I know.

Paul: I'm not a very good one though. My music taste is … quite strange. Everyone will probably hate it. 

Noelia: Come on! These guys will dance to anything when they are at a party! Why don't you give it a go? You'll be great!

Paul: Urgh … I think I'm probably busy that day anyway.

Noelia: Come on! There's nothing to lose!

Paul: Except my reputation and credibility …  

Noelia: Paul, you'd really be helping me out. 

Paul: OK, I'll think about it. 

Noelia: Great! Thanks, Paul! 


Ana: Hello again! It's very difficult to say no to Noelia! So, did you notice the useful phrases used for persuading someone to do something? Listen to me and then repeat. 


I've got a small favour to ask you.

How would you feel about DJing?

You'd be brilliant at it.

I wouldn't usually ask, but you're the only DJ I know. 

Why don't you give it a go?

There's nothing to lose.

You'd really be helping me out.

OK, I'll think about it. 

Ana: Try and use some of these phrases the next time you want to persuade someone to do something in English. Bye for now!

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Worksheet91.1 KB

Language level

B2 English level (upper intermediate)

Submitted by Alejandra SP on Fri, 22/07/2022 - 06:12


I'm not good at persuading someone to do something. I've been trying for three months to convince my mom to let me go to a concert and her answer is always "no". The worst thing is that the concert will be on this weekend.

Submitted by meknini on Sat, 16/07/2022 - 15:16


Sad, I am quite bad at it. I'm the type that would gladly accept any decision made by anyone and believe that the person is mature enough to make up their own mind thus I should respect his decision and leave him alone. Guess, I'll make a very poor sales person.

Submitted by alevegaa on Fri, 10/06/2022 - 06:10


I think that I am not good at persuading people to do different things

Submitted by btawaeel on Tue, 07/06/2022 - 09:53


Persuading anybody is very difficult mission , because most people like to keep their ideas and thoughts as if they are a part from their bodies , so in case you need to persuade someone you must have enough knowledge about the subject , brilliant approach and give it a go .

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Submitted by Silvia Lago on Sun, 24/04/2022 - 21:05


I guess I'm good to persuading someone to do something. But for that, this something must be a right action.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 23:19


No, i am not good at persuading people to do different things.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Sat, 30/10/2021 - 10:34


it's really no because my word is not enough to convince someone

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Mon, 05/07/2021 - 03:49

No, I'm not so good at persuading people to do things. I remember the last time I asked for a favour to a comrade, and she said she would think about it, but then she said "no", so I guess she didn't get convinced at all, therefore I'm not good at persuading people to do things

Submitted by Karolina1208 on Wed, 12/05/2021 - 12:53

Hi, do you have more videos?

Hi Karolina1208,

Yes, we do have some other videos.

  • Video zone - YouTube videos on a wide range of topics.
  • Starting out - a story of the relationship between Julia and Sammy.
  • How to ... - short videos showing what to say in a variety of social situations.
  • Word on the street - about the UK, its culture and English.
  • Britain is GREAT - about British life and culture.


You might also like to see these Speaking videos on LearnEnglish Teens, our site for learners aged 13 to 17.

I hope you find something useful here :)


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by German on Fri, 12/02/2021 - 02:28

I think that I´m good at persuading people to do things but in general when I wanto to persuade someone is for goods reasons.

Submitted by fariba on Mon, 25/01/2021 - 09:22

sometimes i can persuading people to do some thing , but not usually.
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Submitted by Riza on Tue, 12/01/2021 - 05:47

Unfortunately, I am terrible at asking people to do me a favour. At first, I would think of any other possible way to find the solution, however if it is impossible to accomplish by my own I would go to ask someone. I suppose I would go around the bushes and try to find the right way and time for this person to ask for a help. And usually it ends up with a small favour from others but a big lunch from my side)))
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Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 11/01/2021 - 11:06

Actually, I'm not a persuading kind of guy. Honestly, I always feel uncomfortable when I need to ask a favour. Of course, if there's nothing to do without someone's help I ask but, before that, I thought about any possibilities for doing that by myself for sure. I know, it's okay when you ask someone to help or persuade to do something but that how I usually act. Maybe because I can't stand the insolent persons and every time I need to persuade someone I feel a bit insolent. Even when I ask my kids helping me out a bit. Even when I'm trying to persuade them to clean up the mess they did.

Submitted by YewandeAdeosun on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 19:21

Not much. I am below average on the scale of 100 when it comes to persuasion

Submitted by YewandeAdeosun on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 19:19

Not too good. I really need some lessons as regards thos

Submitted by Momocompanyman on Tue, 10/11/2020 - 17:38

Not much, I need a negociation training in this case.

Submitted by Oti on Tue, 20/10/2020 - 09:53

I am not very able to persuade someone to do something, I don’t use to ask someone a favour, I’m ever available to help friends or colleagues.
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Submitted by danisep on Tue, 20/10/2020 - 03:41

I think I am, it all depends on the other person, if you know him or if that person knows you a lot like your sibling or couple could be harder but a colleage or sometimes a stranger or when you're trying to sell something that you really believe at, could be easier.

Submitted by TadyEriel on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 14:04

Well, In my point of view I'm not as good as i'd want. It means I normally try to show advantages and drawbacks about certain situation, therefore children and teenagers understand it, as opposed to adults, even if my speach it's compelling they have their own poin of view. However, I'm learning that ability.

Submitted by Denise on Sun, 18/10/2020 - 11:32

I don’t know,I never thought about that but when I normally want something to be done I always find a way.

Submitted by Cami on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 12:14

I think that I’m good in doing that. Normally I use arguments that I consider being correct in order to convince people doing something that I think they should do. However, if the person with whom I’m speaking doesn’t want to do what I suggested him to do, even after explaining why, for me, it would be better than doing in other way, I don’t insist because I don’t like being too heavy. I think that doing so the other person can stiffen himself and definitely not doing what I said, even if I don’t think that this assumption fits for everyone, it depends from the person with whom you are talking to.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 29/09/2020 - 18:59

Sometimes I'm good at persuading one of my relatives to do things which as is only right, but that doesn't happen frequently. After all it's hard to make someone change the opinion about something.

Submitted by StepbroStefan on Tue, 08/09/2020 - 12:14

Help stepsis, get stuck in the washing machine.

Submitted by Asina9 on Thu, 03/09/2020 - 11:07

Once I tried to persuade my friend to do a course with me..

Submitted by Asni on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 23:05

Usually, I'm a quite persuasive woman but when I have to convince my husband to do something, I often fail; he is a tough cookie and I end up losing my temper before finishing the conversation. Even when he is persuaded to do what I ask, he pretends he is not, just to upset me, he finds that funny and then he says 'OK' with a very low voice I can hardly hear.
Well, depends what you're really trying to convince him for. I am sure that there are things he would just jump upon and you won't need to persuade him. Lols

Submitted by Ramazan Altınışık on Wed, 26/08/2020 - 13:51

I don't trust my communication skills with my friends but when I was child, I was persuading my father to buy somethings such as toys or others.
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Submitted by Jonathan R on Thu, 20/08/2020 - 04:33

In reply to by Razan Mahairy


Hi Razan Mahairy,

This is an idiom. It means: Why don't you try it? The base phrase is 'give something a go'.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SUBHASH SHARMA on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 04:57

In reply to by Razan Mahairy

That means "why don't you just try it at least".
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Submitted by Ahmad Alamari on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 19:16

(favor) spelling should be also right

Hello Ahmad Alamari,

The exercise is designed with British English in mind, so the spelling is favour. Of course, favor is also possible as it is the standard spelling in US English.

It doesn't matter which form you use but you should try to be consistent, I think, and use either UK spelling or US spelling (or some other variant of English) rather than mix them in a single text.



The LearnEnglish Team