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I want to ask a question politely to the client. What is the best way to say it?

Could you please let me know when you want to go to a bus station?

Do you think it is a correct way to say it?

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    I think either "Could you" or "Can you" will work. "Could you", however, may be a more polite form of addressing. – Alexander Mar 19 '17 at 15:07
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    I'd be slightly more inclined to use can if I assumed the client himself already knew what time he wanted to go (i.e. - if I was expected him to give me an answer right now, at time of asking). Because could is a more "distancing" form (past tense of can = not here/now/present) it seems more appropriate if I'm asking him to let me know later (by implication, as soon as possible once he himself either finds out or decides). But they're both fine, and for most purposes they're equivalent. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '17 at 17:37
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    I agree with FumbleFingers; I feel like "could you" would be almost too polite and create (un)wanted pressure. I would just say, "Please let me know when you want to go to the bus station." But note that politeness and manners (and over-politeness) are very cultural, so it would help us to know the background of the client, but at the same time, you may just have to wing it and test the waters. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 20 '17 at 9:33
  • Could you please ...? could be an unfortunate choice (though YMMV). For more details, see this answer: Using “please” when assigning tasks – Damkerng T. Mar 22 '17 at 20:01
  • Some of these comments would make good answers. – Jasper Mar 23 '17 at 20:24
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+50

I am a native British English speaker. If you said to me, "Could you please let me know when you want to go to a bus station?" I would not be offended but the tone of your voice would be very important in the message you are communicating as this could sound like a demand.

If you missed out say "Could you" it would sound less formal and less likely to be misinterpreted. "Let me know when you want to go to the bus station" sounds slightly better to me, but to improve it further explain what you will do when they let you know. For example, "Let me know when you want to go to the bus station and I'll telephone for a taxi" or "Let me know when you want to go to the bus station and I'll ask to butler to drive you"

  • I am not an expert on the English language and have no formal qualifications English. I offer my advice as a native British English speaker. I believe the advice of an untrained English speaker can sometimes be beneficial – RedPython Mar 24 '17 at 9:15

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