Making Requests and Offers Lesson

Offers and requests are staples of the the EFL world as well as in Business English. 

In addition we will cover how to gracefully decline a request or offer.

The basic language structure for requests and offers as well as for acceptance or rejection of the offer or request are like this:

Making Offers and Requests

Offering: formal* Requesting: formal
Would you like . . . [me] to calculate the costs for the project? May I . . .
Shall I . . . ask them to come in? Would you mind if . . .
May I . . . get you another coffee? Would it be possible . . .
Offering: informal Requesting: informal
How about . . . getting together after the meeting? Can I . . .
Do you want . . . another opinion? Would you . . .
Can I . . . get you some more coffee?
Accepting Offers
Yes, please Please! (less formal)
Yes, that’s kind of you You bet! (less formal)
Yes, that would be very nice That sounds great! (less formal)
Rejecting Offers**
No, thank you. I’m fine, thank you.
That’s very kind, but no, thank you No thank you, I’m fine.
Accepting Requests
Of course! Certainly.
Yes, that’s no problem at all. No problem! (informal)
Refusing Requests**
I’m sorry, that’s not possible. I’m afraid not.
I’m sorry, I can’t.

* of course, until we know someone well, language in the business environment should remain formal
** when refusing an offer or request it is always more polite to give a short simple reason.  If your reason is too long and detailed, people may not believe it.

Dialog Practice:
Work with a partner and create short dialogs from the table above.  Make requests and offers and accept and reject them.  Remember to play the role on both sides of the dialog.

When you are finished with this lesson go to
the Making Requests and Offers Activities Page


Making Requests and Offers Lesson – Business English Lesson