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According to the dictionary definition:

Fire away
is used for giving sb permission to ask a question.

  • Can I ask you a question? --- Fire away.

I was wondering if a university professor asks me:

Can I ask you a question?

and a student replies:

"fire away". OR "fire away please".

it would be considered impolite or not? (Supposing that the student and the teacher are not like friends and there is a formal atmosphere between them.) If so, then what would be its alternative in formal speech?

2 Answers 2

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I don't think "Fire away" is impolite, but it's very informal. A student might say it to a professor if they had a very friendly, informal relationship.

More formal ways to say it might be

  • Certainly.
  • Of course.
  • Please do.
  • Feel free. (This one is more informal than the others, but not as informal as Fire away, in my opinion.)
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The polite way to answer the professor would be something like "Yes, certainly" or "Yes, of course". You would only use "Fire away" when talking informally with a friend or relative - it means approximately "Go on - shoot your question at me."

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