Is this No.1 a valid sentence to make a request politely?

  1. I might want you to include these items in the agenda.

Or is just saying like this a lot better?

  1. I would like you to include these items in the agenda.

By the sentence No.1, I wanted to make a "weaker" nuance than No.2, which would indicate that those items could be discarded if not necessary for that person.

If both are valid, please let me know the difference. My intention is to indicate that those items are not mandatory.

  • 2
    I think “I might want you to include...” is a very vague way to phrase your request. It is not impolite, it just doesn’t get across your intended meaning that you do want them included. “I would like you to...” works and is idiomatic too. Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 7:44
  • 1
    Another way of phrasing your request is this: “Might you include...?”. I don’t recommend it but I should point out that it is possible in English. For me this is an outdated and overly formal way to structure a polite request. I don’t use “might” in this way. A final possibility (also using a question) is more likely in polite Australian English, “Could you please include...?” Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 7:52
  • 1
    If you are leaving the choice up to the other person, you could also say "You might want/wish to include these items...". Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


Saying "I might want you to do this" suggests that you haven't decided yet, and is thus not quite what you are intending. The second one is valid, but gives no indication of the task being optional.

Generally the most polite way give an optional request is by asking "Would you mind doing this?" or "Could you possibly do this?" By phrasing it as a question, you make it clear that the task is not mandatory.

However, depending on the request, these are generally unsuitable for a work environment -- of course they won't mind adding to the agenda, that's their job. When speaking to coworkers, a better alternative would be "If you have time, could you do this?" or, if you want to be really formal, "If you have time, I'd really appreciate it if you did this."

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