Which sign would be more appropriate in a place like library:

Please don't make noise.

Do not make noise.

Keep quiet.

I mean when should we prefer to use " Do not do that" and when should we prefer to use " please do/don't do it"

  • Libraries are no longer places of silence. Apr 9 '16 at 1:52

The idiomatic wording for a library sign is "quiet please".

I don't think there is a hard and fast rule for what to say, but in general, it seems like the more important and critical the rule, the more forceful the choice of words is. A sign that advises you to be polite or that is trying to be helpful usually says "please". For example:

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But signs warning of danger, laws, or rules that will be strictly enforced usually do not say "please":

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With signage, space is often at a premium, and most people do not have the patience to read a multi-word sign. Brevity is therefore often the key.


no smoking

no admission

fire exit

For the library,


... maybe followed by a grudging 'please'.

  • excuse me what do you mean by arpt..
    – Mrt
    Apr 8 '16 at 21:07
  • @Mrt Looks like a typo. Pretty certain this edit is what was meant.
    – Catija
    Apr 8 '16 at 22:00

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