making requests

formality + politenesslanguagemaking requests

Direct vs Diplomatic: Using Softeners

In the last two lessons we’ve covered some specific expressions you can use to negotiate and reach agreement. Today we’ll look at some general guidelines for expressing opinions and making demands more diplomatically. In English, we use words and phrases that are known as “softeners” to make a direct expression more diplomatic. They’re called “softeners” because they make your demand or criticism softer, less harsh. Examples of softeners: seem(s) unfortunately possibly …

languagemaking requests

How to state demands (politely)

You make a demand when you want someone to do something urgent or extremely important. A direct demand can sound rude, so use the following structure to make your demands less direct and more polite. I would be grateful if you could/would   Examples Direct (rude) demand: Confirm that you will rectify this problem. Indirect (polite) demand: I would be grateful if you could/would confirm that you will rectify this problem.

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