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Encountering the Communicative Act


An important aspect of learning to request is understanding how the communicative act works within interaction. In this section of the module, we will focus on identifying requests within the entire request sequence. Then, in the next section, we will look more closely at specific language strategies used for requesting.

Girl reading a book

Situation 1: ¿Me puedes prestar tu libro?

Imagine you are studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. You have class in an hour and you accidentally left your book at home. You need to borrow the book from a friend?

Based on what you have seen so far, what do you think your part of the conversation would be like in Spanish? How would you perform your initial request? Enter the primary request strategy you would use below. If you are not sure what to do, don't worry. Just make your best guess.

Now, play the whole conversation between Hebert (on the right) and Evelyn (on the left). Hebert needs to borrow a book from Evelyn, his classmate. As you play the interaction, focus on how Hebert asks to borrow the book and how it compares to what you said.

How did Hebert's request to borrow the book differ from yours?

How is it similar?

Now play their conversation again. This time, note the different strategies Hebert uses to minimize the imposition of the request. How do his strategies compare with the strategies mentioned on the opening page of this module?

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