I work for a mobile phone carrier in the US, and as many of you know in the US after you sign up with a phone company there's a period of time you have to wait for until you're eligible to have your phone unlocked by the company. Normally, when someone shows up at my store asking whether they can unlock their phones or not and I see that they haven't been with their phones for more than a year (a year is the minimum required for you to do that) I tell them that in order to request a phone to be unlocked you have to have been with the company for at least a year, but I was wondering whether I could say "in order to request unlocking you have to have been with the same device for at least a year."

Can I say to request unlocking instead of to request it to be unlocked?

  • You can say: I requested unlocking, but it sounds like the answer to a question: Did you or did you not request unlocking? – Lambie Apr 3 '19 at 20:16
  • Why isn't it correct to say "Request it TO be unlocked?" – Kaique Apr 3 '19 at 21:21
  • I have updated my answer to answer your question. – Lambie Apr 4 '19 at 15:22


You're implying 'unlocking of the phone' and omitting 'of the phone', which is OK.


Question re: In order to request a phone be unlocked, you must blah blah blah.

In your sentence, "request to be unlocked" is not right.

Something is either locked or unlocked.

  • You request something be locked or unlocked.

**I'm requesting my phone be unlocked.

I'm requesting you unlock my phone.**

Versus: I'm asking you **to unlock my phone.

In order to request unlocking, you have to blah blah blah. That's fine.

request does not take to in this case.

The verb request can be used like this:

  • He always requests an aisle seat.

Where aisle seat is a direct object of the verb request.

  • They request he arrive early. [no singular s]
  • He requests you leave now.

where you arrive early and you leave now are used as direct object phrases.

  • They request their phone be unblocked. [or They are requesting]

where their phone is a direct object and be unblocked is in the passive form.

  • I requested him to unblock my phone. [OK]
  • I requested you to unblock my phone. [OK]
  • I requested you unblock my phone.
  • I request or request my phone be unblocked. [OK]
  • I request you unblock my phone. [OK]

In order to use the preposition to, there has to be an indirect object as given in the first two of the four sentences above. A request has to be made to person, not a thing (it). If a thing follows request, it has to be followed by a passive verb.

I requested the house be cleaned.

"To request unlocking, you have to have had the same device for one year."

That's fine.

to request it to be unlocked in not grammatical here.

  • Saying 'request to be unlocked' is incorrect seems like entirely over-academic nit-picking to me... – sesquipedalias Apr 3 '19 at 19:56
  • 1
    No, it isn't academic at all. "I request you to be more lenient." Nope. I command you to be more lenient. Yep. One either wants to sound good or one can just say anything all, in which case, one needn't ask here.... – Lambie Apr 3 '19 at 20:01
  • You might want to brush up on: recommend, advise, and suggest. To be executed is like dog walking. The dog will be walked at noon. – Lambie Apr 3 '19 at 20:07
  • "I request that the phone be unlocked." That would be using the subjunctive and would be correct, I believe. But, please tell me if I'm wrong. 😊 – Don B. Apr 3 '19 at 20:14

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