We interact with a lot of people every day, and we usually happen to make polite requests to them. Making a polite request means asking someone to do something politely.
- Can you please tell me the time?
- Could you write down the name and address of the contact person?
- I was wondering if you could possibly meet my assistant for detailed feedback.
In this article, I’ve listed 50 common examples of polite requests based on different situations, like when you’re at home, school, work, a restaurant, or a public place. I’ve listed 10 examples for each of these situations. Some of them are appropriate for formal situations, while others are for informal and semi-formal situations. Looking at these 50 examples of polite requests is essentially a helpful technique for learning how to make polite requests in English.
10 Examples of Polite Requests at Home
When we’re at home, we do a lot of interactions with our family members such as parents, children, siblings, roommates, or even babysitters and servants. Although “At home” is an informal environment, we probably want to be polite to them when we ask them to do something for us.
The following examples of polite requests as part of daily conversations are commonly used at home.
- Mom, can you close the door, please?
- Honey, can you please eat with your mouth closed?
- Can you shut the window? The room is already too cold.
- Anna, can you bring me the newspaper, please?
- Bob, will you stop bothering mom? She’s working.
- Hey, can you please receive the parcel? I’m going to take a shower.
- Could you get me a cup of coffee?
- Will you stop making noise? I can’t concentrate on my study.
- Could you feed something to the baby?
- Could you turn off the lights, please? I can’t sleep.
10 Examples of Polite Requests at School
When you’re at school, make sure to be polite to your teachers, students, classmates, or other people at school. You should be polite enough while talking to a teacher because this is a formal relationship. On the other hand, while talking to your friends, you don’t have to be as formal as with a teacher, but make sure to be nice.
Look at the following examples of polite requests that are commonly used at school.
- Teacher, would you mind giving me detailed feedback on my homework?
- Can you pass me that book?
- Could you please help me with my homework?
- I was wondering if you could write a recommendation letter for me.
- I was wondering if it would be possible for you to send me the feedback tomorrow.
- Could you please keep quiet?
- Can you please change your seat?
- Could you show me the way to the library?
- Can you please hold this book for me?
- Will you pass me the ball?
10 Examples of Polite Requests at Work
At work, we usually interact with our coworkers, managers, and other staff every day. As this is a formal environment, we’re supposed to be extremely polite if we need to ask someone to do something for us. We need to use the appropriate phrases, expressions, and body language to get things done.
The following examples can be useful for making polite requests in English at work.
- Could you give me some time after lunch?
- I was wondering if you could reschedule the meeting for next week.
- Could you please send me the project files in zip format?
- Do you mind passing me the stapler?
- I was wondering if it would be possible for you to write a short description of the project for our website.
- Would you please take your seat?
- Would you please hand me the mic?
- John, would you mind helping Sarah in preparing the draft budget? Thanks in advance!
- Could you possibly meet me next week at the office?
- Could you telephone me in the afternoon?
10 Examples of Polite Requests at the Restaurant
When at restaurants, we interact with waiters, managers, friends and family, and strangers. Whether it’s a semiformal or formal situation, make sure to consider being polite enough when you make a request to someone.
Look at the examples below that can usually be relatable at restaurants.
- Can you add some extra cheese?
- Could you please make it a double?
- Excuse me! Would you mind leaving this seat for this old lady?
- Do you mind passing me the salt?
- Can you play some soft music?
- Could you please arrange one more table for us?
- I was wondering if you could cancel my order. My guests aren’t coming.
- Could you please change this food? I can see a fly on the rice.
- Would you please turn on some more lights?
- Can you give us some forks?
10 Examples of Polite Requests at the Public Place
We often interact with strangers when we’re at a public place like a station, a supermarket, a restaurant, a walkway, or a train. No matter what place you meet strangers, make sure to be polite enough if you have to make a request to them.
The following can be good examples of making polite requests in a public place.
- Would you mind moving aside?
- Could you please press level 5?
- Could you tell me how to get to the supermarket?
- Do you mind giving me a hand with my luggage?
- Would you mind holding the baby for me?
- I wonder if you could help me hire a taxi. I’m pretty new here.
- Could you please keep an eye on my dog? I’ll be right back.
- Could you change the destination on my ticket? I’d like to go to NoHo instead of Bowery.
- Could you please open the door for that old lady?
- I wonder if you could drive a little faster.
It’s really important to be polite while asking someone to do something because it takes effort for people to do even little things for us. If we don’t use appropriate words or expressions, we might sound rude. And, of course, we don’t want to be rude to people. According to a survey conducted in 2016, 74% of adult Americans believe that people are nowadays ruder than they were 20 or 30 years ago.
If you don’t want to sound rude to people, there are other ways:
- When necessary, ask for permission politely.
- Make sure to use proper body language to be even more polite.
- Before talking to someone, ask if they are free to talk.
Thanks for reading!