1

I am a doctor; my friend is a patient.

I caught my friend taking a piss. I forgot to give him a pee sample tube to check on his health via urinal test, and I want to ask him:

Perhaps you are taking a piss, eh?

What is a more natural and polite way to write that sentence a native English speaker would use in a situation like this?

  • Please clarify: Are you trying to be vulgar, coarse, or polite? The answers will vary greatly depending on the mood and tone you are trying to use. One of the moderators can reopen this question after you provide a few more details. – J.R. Sep 7 '13 at 10:47
  • of course , polite. – yugi Sep 7 '13 at 10:52
7

This might vary some by region, but, at least in the U.S., pee is a much more polite term to use than piss. Piss is considered rather vulgar.

To say this politely, I would probably say something like:

Oops! Sorry. Did I catch you going pee?

You might even make this more polite by asking:

Did I catch you going to the bathroom?

A health professional might skip the word pee, and say:

I will need you to urinate in this cup (or vial; I don't think they would use the word tube).

Not surprisingly, there are many different ways this can be said, and they vary in terms of formality and politeness, and the familiarity between the people talking. Generally speaking:

  • I would ask a co-worker: Do you need to use the restroom?
  • I would ask my mother: Do you need to go to the bathroom?
  • I would ask my child: Do you need to go pee?
  • I might ask a drinking buddy: Do you need to take a piss?
  • Nice explainer @J.R. ... understood that OP is a medical professional, still ... would this qualify for a new badge called "Have seen it all" ? :)) – Howard Pautz Sep 22 '13 at 1:13
  • 1
    @Howard - I think most people in the medical profession would earn that badge very early in their careers. :^) – J.R. Sep 22 '13 at 8:16
1

As J.R. mentioned, this varies by region. In England and the rest of the UK, the word wee is more natural. See http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/wee_3 and http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/wee_2 It's also more polite than the word piss, which is crude/offensive. It is informal and used in informal contexts.

In the context given in the question, the appropriate word to use would be urinate http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/urinate?q=urinate It is more formal than wee and more appropriate to use in a medical context.

If by writing "I caught my friend taking a piss", you mean that you inadvertently encountered a friend urinating, you could say

Sorry. Are you doing a wee?

or,

Sorry. Are you weeing?

To be polite and formal, you could say

Sorry. Are you relieving yourself?

See http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/relieve_3?q=relieve+yourself

or,

Are you urinating?

In the context of a doctor telling a patient that they require a urine sample, they could say

I need you to urinate in this container.

The word container would be useful because it would cover any object that would be used to hold the sample, whether it is a tube, a cup or anything else.

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