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English Grammar Reference: Asking someone to do something

When we ask somebody to do something for us we can use the following forms:

Could you help me please?
Can you lend me five euros, please?

A more polite form has the following construction:

Would you mind

-ing form of verb


Would you mind

opening the window, please?


Would you mind

passing me the salt?


Would you mind

not smoking?



See also:

Asking for permission