Making requests and giving instructions

Phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb is a verb combined with an adverb or a preposition, or sometimes both, to give a new meaning.

For example: get on

An adverb is a word that adds more information about place, time, manner, cause or degree to a verb, an adjective, a phrase or another adverb.

Sometimes a phrasal verb is followed by a preposition.

Sometimes the phrasal verb has an object. Usually there are two positions for the object. You can say:

Phrasal verb: turn on; Object: the computer

She turned on the computerShe turned the computer on

But, if the object is a pronoum (me, you, him, her, etc.), there is only one possible position for the phrasal verb.

Phrasal verb: turn on; Object: it (instead of the computer)

She turned it on.

There are some phrasal verbs with a particular meaning. See the next chart.

Part one.

Part two.

There are some phrasal verbs related to school or studies. Look at the following chart.


For the next activities is necessary that you understand the following terms:

  • A house is a building for people to live in, usually for one family.
  • Household includes all the people living together in a house.
  • Householder chores are all the activities connected with looking after a house and the people living in it.
  • Housework is the work involved in taking care of a home and family, for example cleaning and cooking: to do the housework.

Object Pronouns

An object pronoun is a noun, noun phrase or pronoun that refers to a person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb (called the direct object), or that the action is done to or for (called the indirect object).

Object pronouns in English take the objective case, sometimes called the object case. For example, the English object pronoun me is found in “They see me” (direct object), “He’s giving me my book” (indirect object), and “Sit with me” (object of a preposition).

Subject pronounsObject pronouns


We use me / you / him /her /it / us / them (object) after a preposition (for / to/ with, at / etc.)


When you want to express the activities you do every day, from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, you need to use the present simple. Remember that the present simple expresses a fact that ordinarily happens. It also expresses a habit.

The spelling of the third person singular is different.

a. Most verbs add – s in the third person singular, but go and do are different, they add – es; have is irregular.

  • Example: work – works; go – goes; do – does; have – has

b. If the verb ends in a consonant + y, the – y changes to – ies.

  • Example: study – studies.


Verb to have



Yes / No questions – short answers

Modal verbs can, could and may

Modals verbs are auxiliaries that add particular meanings to the main verb; express our attitude, opinions, and judgments of events. They are used before other verbs and add meanings, such as certainty, possibility, obligation, ability, and permission.


  • Could you come with me, please? (request)
  • You may have this book. (permission)
  • He could have some holidays after July. (possibility)
  • I can swim very well. (ability)
  • There is no -s in the third person singular.

Example: She can dance very well

There is no do foes /don’t / doesn’t /in the question or negative.

Example: Could you give me that book, please?

Modal verbs are followed by the infinitive without TO. The exceptions is ought to. They have no infinifives and no — ing forms and they don’t have past forms. They are auxiliary verbs because they “help” other verbs. They have their own meaning.

Can is used when we refer to possibility and ability, also to make requests and in cases we ask for or give permission.


  • He can drive a car.
  • My brother can speak English.
  • Can you help me?

We often use Can in questions related to specific requests. The use of can in this way is informal (mainly between friends and family),


  • Can you give me my medicine, please?
  • Can you close the door, please?
  • Can you call your mother, please?

Sometimes we use Can to ask for or give permission in an informal way:


  • Can i go to the bathroom, please?
  • Sure, you can.

The main verb is always in infinitive without “to”.

Could is a modal auxiliary verb.

Could is used to talk about past possibilty or ability, to make requests and also to specify what we were able to do.

The main verb is always in infinitive, without “to”.

You use could to talk about what was possible in the past, what you were able to do:


  • I could climb a tree when | was a child
  • My friends could ride their bicycles when they were younger.

Could is also used in questions, and is in a formal way:


  • Could you tell me where the church is, please?
  • Could you give me the telephone number of your teacher, please?

May is a modal auxiliary verb.

You use may when you are not sure about something.

  • Example: My grandfather may be coming to see us tomorrow.

You use may to make polite requests.

  • Example: May I borrow your book?

The main verb is always in infinitive without «to»-

Fuente: Secretaría de Educación Pública. (2015). Lengua adicional al español III. Ciudad de México.