"Please speak English."
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Your proposed phrase means 'Give me English' in a literal way (as it follows directly after the direct object marker), as if English is a tangible object.
英語で話してください should be acceptable. 英語を話してください is not technically incorrect, but it is less common to use this particle (again, as English is not a tangible object). It sounds more like ‘Say something in English’, rather than ‘Speak English’.
ください, when used by itself, with no other verb attached, is a verb meaning to give; confer upon.
When ください is used after the て-form of another verb such as 話す, it serves a different function, that of 'please do for me what was stated previously in the clause', or put more simply: 'please'. In these cases, you should consider ください as an ancillary or helper verb (for lack of a better term).
おねがいします and ください function differently. With おねがいします, the principal verb is regularly omitted. おねがいします is kind of a catch-all, which encompasses the assumed (by context) main verb. That is not true for ください.
Take the following sentence:
いいアドバイスがあったらおねがいします。-If you have any good advice, I request (it).
If you wanted to use ください, you should include the verb for ‘tell’, ‘teach’, ‘say’, etc.: いいアドバイスがあったらおしえてください。If you have any good advice, please 'let me know'.
One should also keep in mind that おねがいします sounds more humble/polite than ください, which is more direct/blunt.
If you want to explore the difference further, here are a couple of links:
で in this case is marking the thing that is used to accomplish an action. You can think of it as 'by means of'.
I don't really see the relationship with what one eats.
手で食べないでください。 Please don't eat with your hands.
フォークで食べてください。Please eat with a fork.
The particle を would mark what one eats:
パン/ライス/すし を食べる Eat bread/rice/sushi.
I wrote 英語を話せ下さい is it just flat out wrong to be considered valid, or it makes sense but is just too rude because of the imperative? Or maybe を shouldn't be used in this case?
Ok, so I wrote 英語で話せ下さい now, and it's still not correct, so I think the particle isn't the only problem, perhaps 話せ is simply too rude. But I still want to include the verb in the sentence, is too boring to just say 英語でおねがいします like duolingo says is correct. In my opinion, that would translate to something like "In English please" but not in "Please speak English". I guess I'll try to use a more polite form of 話す and see what happens.
Can anyone explain why 英語でどうぞ should be wrong?
Aside from "because Duolingo follows some completely arbitrary rules on when it expects you to use what level of formality, marking your answer as wrong in one case because you included さん after a name and then turning around to mark a different answer as wrong because you used どうぞ instead of おねがいします", I mean.
どうぞ means "here you go/feel free/by all means" or "please" in the sense of "please take this/please have this/please go ahead". It is a statement used when offering something to someone, not when making requests.
おねがいします is "please" used when making polite requests
If you want to make a polite request you would need to use the -te form of the verb.
The ~ます ending is non-past "(i) speak" or future "(i) will speak"
That reads something like "(I) will speak in English please do for me"
The request/command form of the verb would be 話して "speak"
英語で話してください "Please speak English"
で makes the most sense here for English as it marks the means/method of speaking that you are requesting someone do. The topic/contrast particle は sounds odd here 'as for english, please speak', and unlike が and を which は replaces, a means can also be a topic so it would become では
英語で話してください should also be correct
英語 "English" is the desired method of speaking so it is marked with the means particle で (が would mark "English" as the noun that is doing the action of "speak")
The request て-form of 話す is 話して, with ください "please" to make it more polite.
This is why I couple the lesson with notes & dict. "de" is apparently a short form of "desu", and with the "onegai" form of "please", the given answer becomes "I'm English, please be kind to me". Guess you gotta translate to the culture first and then the language. (Might not work outside of a restaurant.)
While で is a connective/gerund form of だ（polite です), it is also a means particle used to mark the means/material/utensil/location of action.
食堂で食べます "I eat in the cafeteria" (I eat by means of the cafeteria)
自転車で行きます "I go by bike" (I go by means of a bicycle)
カメラで写真を撮ります "I take photos with a camera" (I take photos by means of a camera)
英語で would be like saying "by means of English" or "using English"
お願いします is a polite "please" when requesting objects or favors. More literally お願い "a wish, a request" します polite form of する "to do"
The "be kind to me" you're adding is from the phrase よろしく, the adverbial form of the adjective よろしい "good, well" which is made more polite with the requesting お願いします "please"