“Can you just trim the back and sides?”
You're getting your hair cut at a barber shop. You don't want the barber to cut very much, so you say this.
Can you just trim the back and sides?
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This is a way to ask someone to do something. It's appropriate for:
- a boss to use with the people who work for him or her
- a customer to use with a store employee
- a parent to use with his or her children
- asking a friend to help you with something
"Can you ___" is more direct than asking "Could you..."
Sometimes a person will include "maybe" in this question:
Can you maybe call him and tell him to meet us there?
Can you maybe turn the volume down just a little?
You use this phrase when the action you're describing seems easy, simple, fast, unimportant, or unexciting:
I just googled "new york florist" and that was the first shop that came up, so I called them.
A: What did you do this weekend?
B: I just sat at home and watched T.V.
"Trimming" something means cutting it just a little to make it look nice. When you "trim" someone's hair, you just cut it a little bit.
You can talk about what part of a person's hair is being cut:
She trimmed the bottom.
Can you trim the sides and leave it long in the back?
Aside from hair, you can also "trim":
- a beard or mustache
- a hedge (a wall of bushes)
- fat from a piece of meat