Last time you took 80% share, so I think at least 70% should be mine this time.

Is there a more polite way to say this? I feel the use of the word you sounds like I am blaming someone. Not sure if that is the actual case.

How else could I put this? The context here is the share of the money.

  • In some contexts it's considered "rude" to use the female third person singular pronoun she rather than a woman's name (if and only if she's actually present, but not necessarily joining in the conversation). I never heard of anything similar in relation to the second person singular. But if it bothers you, you could just rephrase to Last time I only got a 20% share, so I think at least 70% should be mine this time. Commented May 27, 2022 at 10:26
  • @FumbleFingers The rephrasing sounds good. So just to confirm once again, the use of you is not at all rude here, correct? Probably I am overthinking here Commented May 27, 2022 at 10:45
  • Well, obviously your specific context is one where the speaker is complaining to the addressee, which implies the addressee must be capable of doing something to affect the relative share each of them get this time. So by further implication it's the other guy's fault that the speaker got such a poor payout last time. That's the only reason there might be anything rude about the conversation - it sounds like one guy is screwing the other, who is therefore complaining. Commented May 27, 2022 at 11:16

2 Answers 2


Using "you" is perfectly fine. It does not always imply blaming someone. I might rephrase your sentence a little:

Last time you had 80% of the shares. Perhaps this time I take at least 70?


It's not the "you" that sounds rude, it's the verb "took" which could imply the person had earned the shares, money, profits etc. unfairly. Telling someone they "took" something can have an accusatory tone.

Replace "took" with give in the passive voice.

  • Last time you were given 80% share, so I think at least 70% should be mine this time.

1.5 Dispossess someone of (something); steal or illicitly remove.

‘People using cash machines are being warned to be on the alert, after four customers had their cash cards taken.’


  • My approach to toning down the "reproachful" implications of the context was to avoid any reference to your share by recasting to Last time I only got a 20% share, so I think at least 70% should be mine this time (avoiding any reference to you, who were by implication responsible for previous unfairness). But your idea of casting you into the passive is equally good (unless it doesn't make sense because the addressee was the only person involved in deciding what proportion of the total he would "give" to himself). Commented May 27, 2022 at 11:23
  • Or simply "received" instead of "took". Commented May 27, 2022 at 12:42
  • Lots of alternatives I agree, the point I was making that the verb "took" can be misconstrued.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 12:45

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