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  1. Member
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      • Iran
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    #1

    How to ask sb to fix a computer?

    Which option do you think is the most appropriate? Is there any better way of making a request in such a situation?
    The question has been derived from a pragmatics test developed by Liu (2007).

    Your computer is down because of a virus. One of your teachers is very skillful in fixing computers. You know he has been very busy recently, but you still want to ask him to fix your computer.


    1. Sorry to bother you, but I've been having problems on my computer and was wondering if you could help me?
    2. Excuse me, Mr. Smith. My computer is down because of a virus, so I’m in need of your help. When will you be free these days?
    3. Good morning, Mr. Smith, I hear you are very skillful at fixing computers. So I hope you can help me. It is a little trouble; it won’t take you much time, OK?
    Last edited by tulipflower; 20-Nov-2016 at 17:34.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
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    #2

    Re: How to ask sb to fix a computer?

    1 works best for me. You could say Sorry to bother and I know you're very busy at the moment, but....

  3. Member
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    #3

    Re: How to ask sb to fix a computer?

    Is 'excuse me' used in situations that somebody requests a stranger? I mean is it used in formal situations?

  4. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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    #4

    Re: How to ask sb to fix a computer?

    Americans usually say excuse me. In my experience, Brits always say sorry.​ It's the national motto of the UK - click on the image for an example of the motto in action.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by GoesStation; 17-Nov-2016 at 18:06. Reason: Add example.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How to ask sb to fix a computer?

    In this situation, I'd probably say something like "I know you're busy Mr. Smith, but do you think you'd have any time to look at my computer this week? I think I've got a virus* I need some help with. "

    *or whatever your problem actually is
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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