How to Ask for a Favor in English

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When you ask for a favor from someone, you actually request them or ask them to do something beneficial for you. To do so, you must use convincing expressions so that they do you that favor. Remember! You can’t expect to get it unless you ask for a favor from someone appropriately.

In this post, I’ll share some expressions that can help you ask for favors in English from your friends, family members, teachers, colleagues, bosses, and others.

“Would you please do me a favor?” and “Can I ask you for a favor?” are the two most common expressions to ask for a favor in English. While asking for a favor, you are expected to be polite in your choice of words, tone, and body language. You should also be minimalistic and specific about the favor you ask for. 

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Table of Contents

Here is a table that shows different expressions you can use to ask for a favor from someone. Later in the post, I’ll discuss these expressions in detail with specific examples. Also, I’ll give some essential tips so you can ask for a favor in English appropriately.

Common Expressions for Asking a Favor in English

Can/
Could/
Will/
Would
you/
you please
do me a favor?
Can/
Could/
May/
Should
I/
I possibly
ask for a favor?/
ask for a favor from you?/
bother you to ask for a favor?/
trouble you to ask for a favor?  
Would/
Will/
Do
you minddoing me a favor?
Would/
Will
it be ok/
it cause trouble for you
if I ask for a favor?
Isit ok/
it alright
if I ask for a favor from you?
Pleasedoa favor./
a favor for me./
this favor for me.

When you ask for a favor from someone, you may follow similar expressions of making polite requests and asking for permission. Here are the links where you can find my other articles on them.

To ask a favor from someone, you may ask for permission for whether you should ask for any favor or not. However, you can also directly ask for a favor. In most cases, we use interrogative sentences to ask for a favor. Here I am sharing 100+ example sentences you can use to ask for a favor in English.

asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Would you…?”

  • Would you do me a favor?
  • Would you call him on my behalf?
  • Would you give me some money?
  • Would you do this for me?
  • Would you take care of my child today?

You can replace the modal “would” with “could,” “can,” and “will” to form some other expressions to use for asking for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

Asking for a Favor with “Could you…?”

  • Could you do me a favor?
  • Could you send him the gift on my behalf?
  • Could you take some food for me too?
  • Could you play as my substitute?
  • Could you bake the cake today? I’m feeling unwell.

Asking for a Favor with “Can you…?”

  • Can you do me a favor?
  • Can you talk to him on my behalf?
  • Can you lend me some money?
  • Can you sit beside me? I don’t feel well.
  • Can you help with my assignment?
asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Will you…?”

  • Will you do me a favor?
  • Will you meet him on my behalf?
  • Will you give me the notes?
  • Will you help me with cooking?
  • Will you put my clothes in your bag too?

Asking for a Favor with “Would you please…?”

To sound more polite, you can add “please” to all the above sentences just after “you.” Here are some examples of using “please” with the above expressions.

  • Would you please do me a favor?
  • Would you please return my books today?
  • Could you please call him right now?
  • Can you please accept my invitation?
  • Will you please keep it a secret?

Asking for a Favor with “Could I…?”

  • Could I ask for a favor from you?
  • Could I ask you to let me know the review committee’s decision?
  • Could I take your pet with me?
  • Could I call you when needed?
  • Could I have your umbrella?

You can replace the modal “could” with “can,” “may,” and “should” to form some other expressions to use for asking for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Can I…?”

  • Can I ask for a favor?
  • Can I have some money for a short time?
  • Can I go with you to Europe?
  • Can I use your laptop?
  • Can you give me access to your Wi-Fi?

Asking for a Favor with “May I…?”

  • May I ask for a favor from you?
  • May I join you?
  • May I get the job?
  • May I leave early today?
  • May I ask you to help me write the e-mail?

Asking for a Favor with “Should I…?”

  • Should I ask for a favor?
  • Should I text you if I’m in trouble?
  • Should I expect you on the weekend?
  • Should I take it from you?
  • Should I share my problems with you?
asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Could I possibly…?”

To sound more polite, you can add “possibly” to all the above sentences just after ”I.” Here are some examples of using “possibly” with the above expressions.

  • Could I possibly ask for a favor from you?
  • Could I possibly return your books a few days later?
  • Can I possibly expect your gracious presence at the event?
  • May I possibly take your car?
  • Should I possibly have your bag for the tour?

More Expressions with “Could I…?” or “Could I possibly…?”

  • May I trouble you by asking for a favor?
  • Could I possibly bother you by asking a favor?
  • Can I possibly trouble you to return your laptop tomorrow?
  • May I bother you about taking your iPad tonight?
  • Could I trouble you by asking for some money for a few days?

Asking for a Favor with “Would you mind…?”

  • Would you mind doing me a favor?
  • Would you mind cooking for all of us?
  • Would you mind informing him of the matter on behalf of all of us?
  • Would you mind giving me the previous version of the software you bought last year?
  • Would you mind if I ask for a favor?

You can simply replace the modal “would” with “will” and “do” to form some other expressions to use for asking for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

Asking for a Favor with “Will you mind…?”

  • Will you mind doing me a favor?
  • Will you mind writing my letter?
  • Will you mind doing this for me?
  • Will you mind if I use your pen?
  • Will you mind if I ask for a favor?
asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Do you mind…?”

  • Do you mind taking me with you?
  • Do you mind giving me the payment now?
  • Do you mind removing this from here?
  • Do you mind if I ask you to make my submission?
  • Do you mind if I request you leave this seat for my mother?

Asking for a Favor with “Would it be ok…?”

  • Would it be ok if I ask for a favor from you?
  • Would it be ok using your computer?
  • Would it be ok calling you if I face any difficulty doing it?
  • Would it be ok if I pay the bill later?
  • Would it be ok if you allow me to join the next session?

You can simply replace the modal “would” with “will” to form some other expressions to use for asking for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

Asking for a Favor with “Will it be ok…?”

  • Will it be ok going there later?
  • Will it be ok if I use your name as a reference?
  • Will it be ok if I send the products tomorrow?
  • Will it be ok joining you next month and finish the project?
  • Will it be ok if I take your bike today?
asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Would it cause trouble for you…?”

  • Would it cause trouble for you to do me a favor?
  • Would it cause trouble for you if I stayed here for a few days?
  • Would it cause trouble for you if I invited my best friend too?
  • Would it cause trouble for you to help me with my project?
  • Would it cause trouble for you to invite them on my behalf?

You can simply replace the modal “would” with “will” to form some other expressions to use for asking for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

Asking for a Favor with “Will it cause trouble for you…?”

  • Will it cause trouble for you to help my brother?
  • Will it cause trouble for you if I ask you to proofread the document?
  • Will it cause trouble buying some groceries for me while coming back home?
  • Will it cause you trouble if I return the books later?
  • Will it cause you trouble if you leave this room for us?
asking for a favor

Asking for a Favor with “Is it ok…?”

  • Is it ok to take a lift to your car?
  • Is it ok to ask for a favor from you?
  • Is it ok taking the confirmation from you?
  • Is it ok if I listen to your lecture?
  • Is it ok if I play instead of you?

You can simply replace the word “ok” with “alright” to form other expressions to ask for a favor in English. Here are the examples.

Asking for a Favor with “Is it alright…?”

  • Is it alright if I ask for a favor from you?
  • Is it alright if I expect you to help to finish my work?
  • Is it alright to work with you so that I can learn some new things?
  • Is it alright to go with you?
  • Is it alright if I ask for help to complete this?

Asking for a Favor with “Please do…”

Rather than using interrogative sentences, we can also use imperative sentences to ask for a favor from someone. Let’s see some examples.

  • Please do me a favor.
  • Please lend me some money.
  • Please allow me to stay here for a few days.
  • Please find me a good job.
  • Please help me.

You can check my other article by clicking here for similar examples.

9 Tips on Asking for a Favor from Someone

  • Politeness is the key. No matter who you are asking a favor from, your choice of words, voice tone & body language should be polite.
  • It’s never shameful to ask for a favor from the people surrounding you. If you genuinely need a favor, ask for it immediately. Don’t procrastinate.
  • Be considerate about what you should ask for or not. Keep your favors as little and less as possible and consider if favoring you may impact their life badly.
  • Be specific and straightforward about what kind of favor you expect.
  • Show reasons why you need this favor and why they should do it. Always try to convince them with some polite arguments.
  • Approach the right person at an appropriate time to ask for a favor.
  • Give them enough time to think about the favor you asked for. Don’t put pressure or make them bound. Leave space for them to escape if they want to.  
  • Accept rejection happily, as no one is bound to do favors. Show your gratitude and compliment them even for just listening to you.
  • Don’t just ask for favors from others; offer them some, too, when possible.

A Sample Conversation on Asking for a Favor in English

The following is a conversation between Shelly and Ron in which they ask for favors from each other differently.

Shelly: Hey, Ron. How much have you finished on your assignment?

Ron: I’m almost done. What about you?

Shelly: About fifty percent, I guess. Can I ask you for a favor?

Ron: Sure, go ahead.

Shelly: Would you mind helping me finish my assignment? I’m stuck with those tedious equations. 

Ron: That wouldn’t be a problem since I’ve got a little left. Can I see your draft?

Shelly: Yeah. Here you go. 

Ron: Hmmm… I’ll help you out with these. They’re not so difficult. 

Shelly: Thanks, Ron. Now, tell me if I could give you a hand with something. 

Ron:  I haven’t got much left…. hang on! I forgot the Executive Summary part. Will it cause much trouble if I ask you to help me with that?

Shelly: Are you kidding me? Not at all. 

Ron: Wonderful! Could you share with me photocopies of these pages? 

Shelly: Why not? 

Ron: Okay. One more thing. May I get your e-mail address in case we need to communicate regarding our progress?

Shelly: A good idea. I’ll give you mine, and you give me yours. 

Takeaway Words

Tedious (adjective) = an uninteresting or dull activity

Kidding; main form, kid (verb) = to joke or make fun of something or someone

Progress (noun) = a developmental stage of a task

In Conclusion

We live as social beings; thus, we ask for help from others. We ask for favors at different times from the people surrounding us. In this post, I shared several examples of expressions that may help you appropriately ask for a favor in English.

Thanks for reading!

Happy learning!

1. Why is it important to ask for a favor politely in English?

Asking politely shows respect for the other person’s time and effort, making them more inclined to assist.

2. What are some common phrases to ask for a favor?

Phrases like “Could you help me with…?”, “Would you mind…?”, or “I was wondering if you could…” are polite ways to request a favor.

3. How can I make my request clear when asking for a favor?

Providing context and being specific about what you need ensures the person understands the favor and can decide if they can assist.

4. Is it okay to offer something in return when asking for a favor?

Yes, offering something in return, even if it’s just gratitude or a small gesture, can be a nice way to show appreciation.

5. What should I do if my request for a favor is declined?

It’s essential to be understanding and gracious. Simply thank the person for considering and assure them it’s okay.

6. How can I ensure I don’t impose when asking for a favor?

Being considerate of the other person’s time, not making frequent requests, and ensuring the favor isn’t overly burdensome can help.

7. Is it appropriate to ask for favors in a professional setting?

Yes, but it’s crucial to ensure the favor is relevant to work, respects professional boundaries, and doesn’t take advantage of one’s position.

8. How can I show appreciation after someone has done me a favor?

A simple thank you, a note of gratitude, or returning the favor in the future are all ways to show appreciation.

9. Are there cultural nuances to be aware of when asking for favors?

Yes, the approach and level of directness can vary across cultures. It’s essential to be informed and sensitive to cultural norms.

10. How can I teach children to ask for favors politely?

Role-playing, setting examples, and encouraging them to use “please” and “thank you” can instill the habit of asking politely.

Niaj A A Khan is an ESL Instructor with over 8 years of experience in teaching & developing resources at different universities and institutes. Mr. Khan is also a passionate writer working on his first book, "Learn English at Ease."

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