For example, I'm talking to A and B in a meeting room, and then I want to talk with B and don't want A to listen. How do I politely ask A to leave the room?

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    This seems like it would fit the workplace SE instead? (A, would you mind giving us the room?)
    – Smock
    Jun 13 '19 at 15:26
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    I agree with Smock, also this is a matter of opinion. "Would you mind if I had a private word with B?"
    – Gamora
    Jun 13 '19 at 15:53
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    @Smock - If a fluent speaker requested a polite way to ask for a private word with someone that would not offend coworkers, then I would lean toward your suggestion. However, if an English learner is completely unaware of phrasal verbs and idioms such as "give us the room" and "private word", I think ELL is perhaps a better place to ask.
    – J.R.
    Jun 13 '19 at 20:04
  • I'm tempted to say please leave, but, really, this question is far too broad. I'm sure I could come up with about twenty different ways of asking this in a matter of minutes. (And, even with that, what I consider to be polite, others might not. Or vice versa.) Jun 14 '19 at 6:01
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    @Jason, I must still strongly disagree. A purely onion-based question is closed because there are no objective criteria by which to vote any answer up or down. Questions such as 'which is the best programing language" are opnion-based. Questions such as "How do I pass a value to a function" or "how is a participle used" have multiple, objectively correct, sourcable answers, usually a small closed set of answers. Those are the ideal answers here, not the rare unique answers. Jun 14 '19 at 22:00

To A you might say the following:

Would you mind excusing us for a moment?

  • How do I understand 'excusing us'? Does it mean that I need to talk to B or does it possibly mean something else?
    – XYZ
    Jun 14 '19 at 18:18
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    @XYZ That would be taken to mean, "please leave us alone" or less likely, but depending on tone and body language, please let us go elsewhere and leave you alone. Jun 14 '19 at 20:26
  • @David thanks for explaining that to XYZ! Just to confirm, this is also how I interpret it.
    – Gamora
    Jun 17 '19 at 9:06
  • "I need to have a word with B. Could you give us a moment?"

  • "Would you mind stepping outside? I need to speak to B."

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