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09 / 09 / 2005

REQUESTING HELP (3): meaning and examples

Good morning, This week we are looking at some ways to request help politely in English. So far we have seen examples for requesting help using the modal verbs CAN and COULD (Can--Could you show me...?) and for asking about processes with HOW YOU (How do you turn on...?). Today we will combine these two phrases. HOW TO VERB Yesterday we looked at the direct question How do you do this?. When we combine this phrase with a permission modal verb to request help (CAN or COULD), we cannot use a direct question. We must change our 'HOW' question to an indirect form. We use this formula: HOW TO base infinitive verb INCORRECT: Can you tell me how do you do this? CORRECT: Can you tell me how to do this. Notice that we only use the subject pronoun you once, with the first verb in the question (in this case with can you tell). Example 1: A: Can you tell me how to transfer a call? B: Of course. It's easy. Example 2: A: Could you explain* how to download this file? (download is bajar de Internet) B: Yes. It's not hard to do. *It is correct to say tell me. However, it is NOT correct to say explain me. The verb explain is NOT used with an object pronoun. If you would like more information about how to use today's content, please don't hesitate to contact us. Have a good day and a relaxing weekend!


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