In our region, we see this as manners. Suppose there is only one bottle of water and we are four people including my daughter.

And she has a habit of drinking it by touching the bottle with her lips... like this

drinking with lips touching

But then, others are also there. So, I advise her not to drink that way.

I advise her that you must drink without touching your lips... like this -

Courtesy: yaymicro; no lips touching

How do I advise her in good English?

I use...

Drink water from up!

Is it funny? or proper?

  • 3
    "Pour water in your mouth from above", maybe, but it sounds somewhat technical. – CowperKettle Jan 9 '15 at 9:11
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    @sharon - I used "pour" because it creates an image of free-falling water. I thought one can drink from above and still touch the mouth of the bottle. – CowperKettle Jan 9 '15 at 9:15
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    @MaulikV: So how about "Darling, don't touch the bottle, ..." if she only needs a reminder. – Stephie Jan 9 '15 at 9:31
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    @Copper - I think you've nailed it with pour; I'd say: "Pour the water into your mouth – don't drink from the bottle". (No need for the "from above" part; pouring water won't defy gravity.) – J.R. Jan 9 '15 at 9:59
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    Thank you, @J.R.! You can post an answer: you've formulated it better, and I'm busy reading up on the more (0: – CowperKettle Jan 9 '15 at 10:04

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

If I was training my daughter in the etiquette of sharing water from the same bottle, I'd probably say something along the lines of:

Pour the water into your mouth, like this –

and at this point, I would demonstrate, and then I would elaborate with a clarifying remark, such as:

– and don't let the bottle touch your lips


– and don't put your mouth on the bottle

This method has two advantages:

  • first, it shows her visually what you are trying to do,
  • second, if she messes up and spills the water, or puts her mouth on the bottle, you've already had your sip :^)

Incidentally, this takes some skill. It might be best to exercise some foresight and have the child practice the technique at home. Until the skill is mastered, you can simply give the bottle to your child last and let her drink the remainder in the normal way. (But this is not parenting.SE; I'm digressing now.)

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