Uncharted Territory


RSS     Archives



今回取り上げるのはSET2のパート3 Q53-55にあった表現。自動車が修理中のため同僚の車に同乗させてもらった人が明日も乗せてもらえるか聞くところです。

Do you think you might be able to give me a ride tomorrow, too?
- I’m sorry but I’m only in the office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tomorrow is one of the days that I work from home.

人の車に乗せてもらうんで丁寧に依頼しないといけない場面なためか、ここではDo you think …?というのもワンクッション置いた表現ですが、さらにyou might be able toともうワンクッション置いて聞いていますね。残念ながらI’m sorry but…という断る時の定型表現で依頼には応えられないことが伝えられてしまいましたが。。。自宅勤務という新しい働き方の流れもTOEICは話題に取り入れているところも注目ですね。

英辞郎でもDo you think you can …?での依頼表現がいくつか掲載されています。TOEICではDo you think you might be able to ? / Do you think you could …? / Do you think you can …?といった表現がありました。しかもSure, not a problem.やCertainlyなどおなじみの承諾表現がつかわれています。

Our internship recruiter isn’t here - she just left for lunch. Do you think you might be able to come back in about forty-five minutes?
- Sure, not a problem! I’ll walk around and take a look at the rest of the booths at the event.

Do you think you could show me how to use this scanner?
- Certainly, I can help you out right now.

I e-mailed you yesterday about Jim Smith's retirement party tomorrow. Do you think you can help me set it up?
- Yes. The only problem is that I have a meeting until five o'clock.

サイトで見つけた依頼表現の説明では了承する義務がないようなケース、大変な依頼をするケース、地位の高い人に依頼をするケースではphrases we use to be less direct and more politeとあります。このあたりは日本でも同じですよね。

Softening Phrases
Explain that using “could” instead of “can” does make a request more polite but that there are phrases we use to be less direct and more polite when we make requests. Explain that we mostly use these phrases in the following situations:
◦ When the person we are making the request to does not have an obligation to say yes.
◦ When we are making a big request.
◦ When we are making a request to someone who is at a higher level within the company.
Write the following softening phrases on the board:
1) I was hoping you/I could …
Examples: I was hoping you could work this Saturday.
I was hoping I could take Friday off.
2) I was wondering if you/I could….
Examples: I was wondering if you could cover my shift next Tuesday.
I was wondering if I could take an extended lunch break to run some errands.
3) Do you think you/I might be able to….?
Examples: Do you think you might be able to help me out with these reports?
Do you think I might be able to leave a few minutes early so I can pick up my child from school?

ちょっと気をつけないといけないのはless directになるということは意味が取りにくくなることでもあります。例としてあげられていたI was hoping you could work this Saturday.のような依頼表現はTOEICでは使われておらず、文字通り「〜しようと思っていた」「〜したかった」という意味で使われていました。

I'm sorry, but we're completely sold out (中略) the shipment'll be here sometime next week.
- Oh dear, I was hoping to buy it now.