Imagine I am teaching in a classroom and trying to have students open their books at a specific page.

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Should I say this or something else?

dear students, please turn to page 35 and look at figure 2.3

Does it sound natural and nice?


It would not sound at all natural in the U.S.

It is my impression (which may be wrong because I have never been to India) that referring to people in general as "dear" may be common in Indian English, but in the U.S that locution is usually restricted to family members, very close friends, lovers, and pets. It is not a general salutation, but indicates great affection or sexual attraction. The exceptions to that rule relate to very constrained fields of discourse.

Please turn to page 35 and look at figure 2.3

is polite, comprehensible, and idiomatic in the US. To preface it with "Dear students" would be considered unintentionally humorous or severely problematic for a teacher to say to his or her students.

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