How to make an indirect request? - eAge Tutor

How to make an indirect request?


For a spoken English student, learning is a continuous process. There is a lot to learn, and always some room for improvement. However, that doesn’t mean that it will take you years to be able to speak in fluent English. Even people who are fluent English speakers need to update their vocabulary and learn the new trends in order to keep updated. The key to good English speaking is that one needs to keep learning and improving spoken English continuously.

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How will you learn English? There are many mediums through which you can learn and practice English speaking. Online English courses are one such medium and very convenient one as well. There are many aspects of spoken English, making requests is one of them. When making a request, it can be of two types -  direct and indirect. In today’s blog, we shall learn the basics of making indirect requests.

What is an indirect request?

A request is when you ask for a favour or assistance from another person/s. It can be of any nature. One makes a request when they are incapable of doing something themselves. However, many a times, you cannot go and directly make a request. The reason for the same can be many. Maybe you do not wish to make the other person feel uncomfortable, or you yourself may not be comfortable with making the request. Whatever the reason, there are many ways by which you can make an indirect request. Following are a few.

Ways to make an indirect request

third person
Involving a third person: “Could you ask Raj to report to me after lunch?” In this sentence, you are asking someone else to pass the information to Raj, means that you are making a request to Raj, but through a third person. “Please tell Nisha to clean up the dining table”, even in this sentence, the information is for Nisha, but passed through someone else. This is an impersonal way of making a request.


Passing the information: Many times, you need to pass a certain information to a person, however, you simply leave the information with a third person, entrusting them to pass it to the desired person/s. “Could you tell the students that the extra class starts at three?” In this example, you are entrusting the information on one person, to be passed on to the desired audience. Here’s another example, “Please inform the boss that I will be late by an hour.”

Seeking information: Sometimes it is you who need some information, and you ask a third person to get it. “Could you ask him the cost of this watch?” In this sentence, you need to know the cost of the watch, but instead of asking the shopkeeper yourself, you are asking someone else to do that job for you.

Hope the above tips will help you speak fluent English while making an indirect request.

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- By Shailja Varma

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