20/9/19 REQUESTING THINGS
Yes/No Questions We usually ask people to do things for us by making yes/no questions. (This is because a yes/no question appears to leave people free to refuse.) Some typical structures used in requests:
  • Could you possibly help me for a few minutes? (very polite)
  • Would you mind helping me for a few minutes?
  • Would you like to help me for a few minutes?
  • Could you help me for a few minutes? (more informal)
  • Do you think you could help me for a few minutes?
  • You couldn’t help me for a few minutes, could you? (informal)
Indirect yes/no questions are also used in polite requests.
  • I wonder if you could (possibly) help me for a few minutes.