Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 2 – Episode 28 – Speaking Skill – Making Polite Requests

Oh, making polite requests are vastly important.  I’ve seen people make some of the worst requests; as you remember, the man at the bottom of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur who didn’t want to wait in line to ask an obvious question.

These things can get you in trouble in some cultures, especially the western culture where parts of America would want to fight you (no joke).  So, let’s get into some phrases.

Useful expressions for making polite requests

Can you tell me how much the tickets are?

Could I ask for some information first?

Could you tell me if the job is full-time or part-time?

I’m going to now break down how you can use structures.



Could you tell me                  if, what, when, how, how much,

Could I ask

Can you tell me


The way I ask questions to hotel staff and other people is very polite.  Again, if they respond in a rude way, I match their rudeness.  If they respond kindly, I match the kindness.



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