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Exercise 7: Simulation Exercises for Making a Request


Read the situation below and complete the dialogue as if you were actually carrying on a real conversation with the other person. Type into each box in the sequence what you would most likely say at that point in the interaction. Later you will be asked to reflect on your language use.



You are a college student. You belong to a music club, and now you are just about to enter a music concert hall with a clubmate of yours, Keiko, who is two years younger than you (kouhai). Just before buying a ticket, you realize that you are a bit short of money. Since you are a good friend of this kouhai, you decide to ask if you can borrow 1000 yen (about US$8) from her.


You: けいちゃん、ちょっとお願いがあるんだけど。 Kei-chan, chotto onegaiga arun dakedo.

Kei: え、何ですか?  E, nandesuka?

1. You: (You make a request/give a reason.)

Kei: いいですよ。はい。 Iidesuyo. Hai. (Keiko hands you the money.)

3. You: (You thank her.) 




Now, let’s listen to a sample dialogue between two clubmates. Observe the level of politeness carefully in terms of the situational factors (age difference, role/status difference, closeness or distance between the two speakers, and the magnitude of the request) and the level of politeness.

Review of the politeness levels of a request

・・・してくれない/もらえない*?        …shite kurenai/moraenai*?                                                Plain form (no honorifics, casual)
・・・してくれませんか/もらえませんか?  …shite kure masenka/ morae masenka?                 Desu/masu form honorifics (polite)
・・・してくださいませんか?       …shite kudasai masenka?                                                        Exalted form honorifics (very polite)
・・・していただけませんか?        …shite itadake masenka?                                                        Humble form honorifics (very polite)

* もらえる moraeru is slightly more polite than くれる kureru. Note also that the negative form of request (e.g.,・・・してくれない ...shite kurenai?) is more polite than the affirmative (e.g., ・・・してくれる? ...shite kureru?).

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3. How appropriate do you think was the politeness level of your request in this exercise and why?

4. Identify some of the strategies you have noticed in this dialogue.


5. Listen to another sample dialogue between two clubmates. What request statement does the first speaker make?

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6. What are other strategies being used in this dialogue?

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Your section (if applicable)/Your last name, Your first name:
Example: (in a box) 010/Smith, John

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