What's the use of 'do me a favour' in requests?

tulipflower

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Can we use 'do me a favour' in simple requests like asking a salesperson to show a suit, for example?

Sorry I would like to see that suit. Would you please do me favour?


I've read that 'do me a favour' is used when we request somebody to do something which is annoying to him or her.
 

andrewg927

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A quick note, in AE we use "favor".

You ask "Could you do me a favor?"

We usually ask the question first before we say what kind of favor we are asking.

When you ask someone to do you a favor, you ask them to do something for you. It is a polite way of asking. Or in your example, you could simply ask "Could you show me that suit, please?"

I am not a teacher.
 

emsr2d2

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The phrase "do me a favour" doesn't fit the situation you gave at all. Asking a sales assistant to show you a suit that's on sale is not asking them to do you a favour. You're simply asking them to do their job. In your situation, you just need "Hi, can you show me that suit please?" If showing you the suit is annoying to him/her (as you stated in the first post), he/she needs to get a different job!

I agree with andrewg that we usually use the word "favour" before we get on to the details. Sometimes we give the other person the opportunity to agree to doing a favour before telling them what it is (some people will insist on knowing what it is before they agree) and sometimes we word it as if we just expect them to agree.

John: Can you do me a favour?
Jane: Yes, of course. What is it?
John: Can you pass me that big box of photos?
Jane: Certainly, here you go.
John: Thanks.

John: Can you do me a favour?
Jane: Depends what it is!
John: Can you lend me a million pounds?
Jane: Ha ha! I'm glad I didn't say yes.
John: I'm joking! Can you just open that window for me?
Jane: I'm glad that was a joke! I'll open the window on my way out.
John: Thanks.

John: Can you do me a favour and pass me that big box of photos?
Jane: Sure. Here you are.

John: Can you do me a favour and pass me that big box of photos?
Jane: Sorry, I can't. I've hurt my shoulder and I can't lift anything heavy.
John: No problem. I'll get it myself. I hope your shoulder gets better soon.
 

tulipflower

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Do we use this expression only in informal situations or we can use it in more formal situations like making a request to our manager? [FONT=&quot][/FONT]
 

Rover_KE

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Do we use this expression only in informal situations or [STRIKE]we can[/STRIKE] can we use it in more formal situations like making a request to our manager?
Use it informally only. And don't overuse it as it soon becomes very tiresome.
 
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