Suppose you have multiple questions to ask. How do you start asking questions? Are you supposed to begin like, "First off, do you know - ?" I used the expression "First off," because I have multiple questions. And I would also like to know how to move to your next question. Do you start with something like, "My next question is, blah blah blah"?

To summarize my question, does it sound natural when you start asking your first questions with "First off," and move to next question with "My next question is, blah blah blah"?

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    Hello Pig. What sort of situation are you asking questions? A press conference talking to a politician? A student in a seminar talking to a teacher? A teacher in a seminar talking to students? Talking to your girlfriend/mother/mate at home? Something else? The situation affects the register, formality and politeness.
    – James K
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 20:45
  • I imagined a situation where I went to office hours and asked my professor about what options could be available after graduation. She is friendly, so do you think I can think of it as a somewhat informal situation??
    – pig
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:28

2 Answers 2


"First off" is a casual, conversational and informal shortening of 'first of all', and would only be used in informal speech or writing.

If you want to immediately ask further questions, you could say 'My next question is...', but 'Next' on its own, or 'Secondly', 'Thirdly', etc would be more natural.

First off, are you hungry? Secondly, do you want a beer? Thirdly, shall we watch a movie?

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    Or in fact, one can start "firstly", which might also fit in some more formal contexts.
    – aschepler
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 20:34

Yes, "first off" works to informally introduce a list of questions. It's worth noting though that it's most often used to introduce a list of complaints, if you're saying this, make sure it's clear from the context or your tone that your question isn't the start of a complaint.

"First question:..." also works.

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    I agree that 'first off' is often used to introduce a series of negative things, e.g. complaints or reasons why a suggested plan is a bad idea, but I can imagine 'Why are you so happy, Mike?' 'First off, I've married the most beautiful girl in the world. Secondly, we truly love each other. Thirdly, she will inherit a brewery'. Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:02
  • @MichaelHarvey Thanks. I've added a bit more about context too.
    – gotube
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:08
  • Wow, thank you, guys! I didn't expect people to react that soon. appreciate that! The examples you guys gave helped me a lot to understand the contexts!!
    – pig
    Commented Nov 3, 2022 at 21:24

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