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Is there a better way of saying

"is there a problem with that?"

I feel that this phrase is a bit disturbing to some people, is there a better way of asking this question in a nicer friendlier way?

An example would be:

Person A: Have you used the water on the table?
Person B: Yes, is there a problem with that?

Another example

Person A: You once said that no one is allowed to do so, but now you are doing it?
Person B: Yes, I changed my mind, is there a problem with that?

A final example:

Student: You solved this question in the tutorial, but in the exam, you ask us another question.
Teacher: Yes, that is true, I usually do not repeat my questions in the exam, is there a problem with that?

How would Person B sounds a bit nicer?

  • 1
    Can you give a little more information about the context? – Era Nov 13 at 14:58
  • I updated my question – rsc05 Nov 13 at 15:48
1

To ask this in a nicer way, simply:

Person A: Have you used the water on the table?

Person B: Yes, is that okay?

This could still be said in a way that disturbs people, of course; a lot of it will have to do with voice tone and body language, as well as whether or not it goes without saying that you shouldn't have used the water.

For the following example, you are the authority, so to be nice and friendly, I see two potential options.

First, you could ask the person if it is causing them any problems (you're expressing concern here):

Person A: You once said that no one is allowed to do so, but now you are doing it?

Person B: Yes, I changed my mind. Is it causing (you any) problems?

(Bracketed words optional.)

Also, you could offer an explanation if it is appropriate to do so (here you're expressing self-awareness about the possible seeming hypocrisy of you changing your mind):

Person A: You once said that no one is allowed to do so, but now you are doing it?

Person B: Yes, I changed my mind. I realised that it would be better if we... etc.

Or you could also explain why you're allowed to do it and no one else is. You could also explain that you're sorry, but you're unable/not permitted to tell them why, if you can't offer an explanation for those reasons.

For your last example, it's seems a bit odd, as it wouldn't be expected that you would be examined on a question that the teacher has already provided the answer to, but perhaps something like:

Student: You solved this question in the tutorial, but in the exam, you asked us another question.

Teacher: Yes, that is true, I usually do not repeat my questions in the exam. Are you struggling to see the similarities between the two questions?

  • @Mack Thank you for this, What about my other example? – rsc05 Nov 13 at 19:28
  • 1
    I updated my answer. – Chris Mack Nov 13 at 19:46

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