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A friend of mine who's learning english asked what the phrase "after you" means and I said it is used in polite situations as another way of saying "I will do something after you do it"

I've never really thought about the phrase and gave my basic understanding of it, but is this definition correct?

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There are some good definitions in most dictionaries as suggested in the comment above.

However, I have to say that this particular phrase is most commonly used when allowing someone to move ahead of you. For example, you might open a door for someone and say after you to show that you want them to go ahead of you.

In my experience this is the more common usage but I'm sure it is also used in other ways as suggested in any online dictionary.

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