Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Asking others to do something in English - "you have to" or "should I"

ASKING IF/SAYING ONE IS OBLIGED TO
DO SOMETHING

WARM UP

“You have to leave your footwear outside.”
Where have you seen this kind of instruction?
Why is it necessary to follow this instruction?

LET’S ROLE PLAY

1.Arundathi : My son in Delhi has written to me asking me
to go over there next Monday.
Bhagyam : What for?
Arundathi : It seems he has to attend a training programme
at Kolkatta. Do I need to go?
Bhagyam : Yes, I think you ought to go. His family needs
some elderly person to be with them.
Arundathi : In that case let me tell my husband to book a
train ticket for me to Delhi.
Bhagyam : It’s better if he books today itself.
Arundathi : Yes, that’s a good idea.

2. In a Transport Company, the manager has received a court
warrant for deposing before the magistrate about a bus
accident.

Transport Inspector : Sir, did you see the warrant from the
magistrate court?
Manager : Yes, but I didn’t see the details.
Transport Inspector : You know, Sir. One of our buses plying
to Trichy was involved in an accident a
fortnight ago.
Manager : Oh! I see. Are we required to be present
in the court?
Transport Inspector : I think we are under an obligation to
depose before the magistrate.
Manager : Who will do it, you or me, Sir?
Transport Inspector : One of us can represent our company. I
myself will attend because I know all
the details of the case very well.
Manager : OK. Thank you.

FOCUS ON COMMUNICATION

Asking if one is obliged to do something

Informal & Neutral

Have I got to ……?
I haven’t got to ..Have I?
Must/should I ……..?

Formal

Are we under any ...obligation to
Are we / Aren’t we obliged to/ required to ……?
Is the onus upon me ?

Saying one is obliged to do something

Informal & Neutral

I think you have to.......
I’m afraid you’ll have to …..
I’m afraid you should/ought to.
I think you are expected to …
I’m afraid you can’t avoid ….

Formal

I think you are under an obligation to ….
I think it is compulsory/ obligatory.
I think the onus is upon us.

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