"Excuse me." is very often used in our daily conversation, and I learned the phrase "Excuse us." used when involving more than two persons. Then, how about "Excuse him / her / them."? For example, when you want your little kid to get out of the elevator ( which is packed with people and only your kid must leave ), can you say, "Excuse him." when it is a boy, and "Excuse her." when It is a girl?
Yes, but ...
Saying "excuse him" is usually patronizing, implying that the other person is not responsible or polite enough to make his own apologies. If you're talking about a child, "Oh, please excuse my son, he doesn't know any better", well, we expect children to not be responsible. But if you say it about someone else, "Please excuse Fred", that's almost certainly insulting to Fred.
It may be, of course, that your intent is to say that Fred is irresponsible or rude, in which case "excuse him" would be totally appropriate.
The one example I can think of where it would not be insulting would be if the person could not be expected to know that something he did was inappropriate. Like, "Oh, please excuse Fred. He's still learning English, he didn't mean that statement the way it sounded."
Yes, it is possible but not normally in that situation. "Please excuse us" is what we would be more likely to say, even if you are not in the way, to imply that you need to stay together and the other person is keeping you apart.
On the other hand, if you want to make excuses for someone else's rudeness or conduct, you can say, "Please excuse his behavior". More often you would simply apologize for whatever the other person did wrong, especially if you are responsible for them.
"I'm so sorry my son knocked down the Christmas tree, ate all the chocolates, and lit the dog on fire, he's such a naughty boy."
Please excuse someone
gets used as a polite way of saying
I'm about to do something impolite and am apologizing ahead of time
In your example, if your child is leaving the elevator alone you might say
Please excuse him/her.
since they may be too small to speak up for themselves. If you are also exiting the elevator you would say
Please excuse us.
The phrase is a polite form with "I'm sorry" implied.
When the third person (him/her) is used, the phrase may also mean
Please ignore/disregard what someone has just done.
Please excuse him, he's not been the same since the accident.
Yes it does, but you need to be careful of the social context, as using this expression wrong will be taken as an insult.
If you are the parent of a child, you can absolutely say "excuse him/her", as you are responsible for them. You would probably say "Please excuse him/her" to be even more polite.
However if the person you are trying to "excuse" is an adult who does not like you very much, it can be seen as an insult, like you're treating them as a child.
Say for example
"Excuse him, he's acting like a child"
Is something someone might say if they were unhappy with another person's behavior.
Yes, and as others have said it is sometimes and perhaps often seen as rude -- but not always.
When requesting excusal, one is asking for forgiveness for acting outside the expected or norm. "Excuse me" when you sneeze is asking forgiveness for the noise/matter you're expelling in the presence of others. "Excuse me" when trying to pass someone is asking forgiveness for requesting they move. "Excuse me for ____" is asking forgiveness for a specific thing ("my lateness", "asking [a personal question]", etc).
When you ask for the excusal of someone else, the implication is that they cannot ask themselves. In the absence of that person, it can be perfectly acceptable/polite ("Excuse him for missing our meeting, he missed his train", "Excuse his actions the other night, he feels very bad [and will apologize later]"). However, if you ask for someone's excusal in their presence the implication is that they are unable to ask for a reason, and often that reason is that they do not know/understand the expectation or norm they have violated. This compounds in to the excusal entreaty the notion of ignorance. They do not know is implied in the excusal of another one present, which can be seen as rude if the person is an adult and should know the norm or expectation.
It's not always rude, ignorance of a norm is sometimes expected such as when you are traveling: "Excuse him, he did not mean [ignore custom]". Or if a child is loud and rambunctious, a parent may say "Excuse him, he gets cranky when he's away from home".
Summing up: Yes, "excuse him" makes perfect sense, just be careful of the implications wrapped up in the asking excusal on the behalf of others.
Yes, but generally in English, the phrase "Excuses Him/Her" is taken more literally, as in you actually wish for that person to be excused for their attitude or behaviour. Also: you never hear people say "Excuse Him" as a sentance on it's own, it is always followed by an explanation.
Excuse him for his outbursts, he's drunk
Excuse her please, she just got out of prison
Most Common Variation:
You'll have to excuse him/her, [explanation goes here]
Whereas the phrase "Excuse Me" is more soft and for little things like nearly bumping into someone, accidentally burping out loud, not hearing what someone just said. It's almost synnonymous with the word "sorry". Likewise, when saying "Excuse Me", the phrase is often the whole sentence, as in there is no explanation that follows it.