How would you call that if I'm on public transport, sitting comfortably on a chair, and then a senior or a lady in red walks in and so I want to stand up and give my place to that person ?

like, I ... my place/chair (to) that person. I'm not sure, but there should be something like that.

Thanks for your help, guys :)

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    You yield (or give up) the seat to a senior (but not to a non-senior woman (they can't have women's lib and seats, unless with an arm load of kids)) . But you probably wouldn't use either word in everyday non-technical conversation. You can also not say anything and just stand up and maybe look at the senior giving them the option. Some seniors don't want to sit down.
    – user6951
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 18:58
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    And I have no idea what you mean by "lady in red".
    – user6951
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 19:02
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    I just meant some nice lady :)
    – Arman
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 20:59
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    Well, why don't you put 'nice lady'? 'Lady in red' can be a prostitute, who are not always nice. It also has some other slang meanings.
    – user6951
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 9:39
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    @ArmanMcHitaryan I immediately thought of the woman in the red dress form the Matrix, and assumed you meant any random woman, so your meaning did not entirely fall on deaf ears.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 19:52

3 Answers 3


The other answers I see here describe how to tell the person that you would like to let them have your seat, but that doesn't appear to me to be what the question asked.

To answer your question by finishing your example sentence, I would say:

I gave up my seat to an elderly lady.

An alternative form would be:

I let an elderly lady have my seat.

This could imply that she asked for it, and you then let her have it, as opposed to the first phrasing which implies that you did it without prompting.

That being said, one of the comments on this page indicates that a listener may interpret those two phrasings with the reversed meaning, with the second phrasing voluntary and the first forced.

Either way, the two phrasings are essentially identical. Use whichever you prefer.

As far as offering your seat, I normally wouldn't even say anything. I would just stand and move aside when someone who clearly needs the seat more gets on. This is partially because most buses I've been on have signage saying to give up your seats for the elderly or handicapped.

bus sign

enter image description here

  • Thank you, Shannon, for your detailed answer. This was just what I was asking for.
    – Arman
    Commented Apr 11, 2015 at 8:00
  • You could also say "I gave my seat to the elderly lady." or "I gave her my seat." It's less formal, but often heard (AmE).
    – Stew C
    Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 22:55

You smile and stand and ask, "Would you like to sit down?"

"Chair" doesn't work here. It refers to a single, free-standingpiece of furniture, not to shared seating such as we find on the subway or bus.

  • Thank you, @Eileen. Can I then say that I "gave up my seat to somebody" today? Would 'give up' be correct?
    – Arman
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 20:56
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    "Give up" implies hardship a bit, and this is something you did willingly. I'd say "I let them have my seat." This implies that you were happy to do it. Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 22:03
  • These sound more native than "gave up" in this particular sentence: "I gave my seat to somebody" or... "*I offered my seat to someone" (offered but not necessarily gave it).
    – Stew C
    Commented Apr 9, 2017 at 23:00

In your context, I would say:

Would you like my seat?

I wouldn't use chair as that usually refers to a standalone unit for one person only to sit, and wouldn't expect that on mass transit.

Place might be OK, but would be better in a situation like where you are waiting in line to go into a movie:

Would you like my place in line?

  • Thanks for your reply. Can I then say that I "gave up my seat to somebody" today?
    – Arman
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 20:54
  • Yes, you can say that.
    – user3169
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 21:26

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