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


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.)

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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