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1) I wonder if you could do me a favor.
2) I was wondering if you could do you a favor.

Which one is correct?

When I learned English I was told to use the (1). But I heard many people when they asking for help, they use (2). Is (2) better than (1)?

Thanks
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2) is an example of the 'past of politeness'.

Both are correct; the second is a little more polite.

CJ
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Hi Philip

I'd like to hear CJ's description of this as well.

Here's my two cents on the topic. My understanding is that the idea of past politeness makes the sentence more "distant". Sentences are made more tentative by this distance. The tentativeness makes it easier for the listener to disagree or say no. To my way of thinking, this also includes things such as using 'would' instead of 'will' or 'could' instead of 'can', for example.

Will you help me? vs Would you help me?

Let's say you want someone's opinion about something you're considering:
I am thinking about quitting my job.
I was thinking about quitting my job.
I think the "distance" in the second sentence invites the other person to respond more freely because it sounds more tentative.
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Just now a friend called me and she used "I was wondering if you could help me to blahblah..."
So I guess (2) is for spoken English? (Just my wild guess.)
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Both are correct I think, but the second one sounds politer. The first one sounds as if you think that person isn't that kind to help.
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CalifJim2) is an example of the 'past of politeness'.

Both are correct; the second is a little more polite.

CJ

Hi Calif Jim,

I am sorry but I don't really get what you mean by 'past of politeness'. Could you explain it to me, please?

Thank you.

Best wishes,

PBF
The more distant, thus the less immediate and stringent for the other person, the more polite.
CalifJim2) is an example of the 'past of politeness'.

Both are correct; the second is a little more polite.

CJ

I love this term, which is brand new to me. CJ: do you have any other examples of such?
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 Yankee's reply was promoted to an answer.
Both are correct. You use a past tense for a present request to sound more polite and tentative, giving more space to the other party to say 'no'. The past progressive tense even intensifies that effect.
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