Questions tagged [politeness]

This tag is for questions regarding the polite use of words or phrases.

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Polite way to convey something instead of using YOU

Last time you took 80% share, so I think at least 70% should be mine this time. Is there a more polite way to say this? I feel the use of the word you sounds like I am blaming someone. Not sure if ...
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2 answers
96 views

Could we use "thank you too" instead of saying "you're welcome"?

Could we use "thank you too" for the response to someone has thanked us? Is it grammatically correct to use that?
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4 votes
3 answers
229 views

Polite alternatives to "That's none of your business"

I'm looking for a more polite alternative to "That's none of your business". Would "That doesn't concern you." and "That's none of your concern." be more polite? Would ...
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2 votes
1 answer
85 views

How polite is "Perhaps[Maybe] you could" when you ask for request?

When is it possible to say for instance: Perhaps you could help me with that. I would really appreciate it if you could compare this one with: Would you please help me with that? Can you please ...
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Should I use "inside the drawer" or "in the drawer" when I am talking about a small object?

When I was taking my English classes I came across a doubt: What's the proper way to say: I forgot my book in the drawer or inside the drawer?
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The use of "please" in instructions

I'm translating instructions for my company's employees on how to enter data into a database. Most of the instructions are phrased as statements rather than imperatives (e.g. "In this field XX ...
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1 answer
52 views

Is it offensive to say "utilize workers"?

Is it offensive to say "utilize someone"? Automated factories perform better than those that utilize human workers. If it is, could you please give me a polite and positive alternative?
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22 votes
7 answers
19k views

What to answer to "you're too kind"?

I told a guy I knew that he looks good in a pink shirt. He told me: "Thank you, you're too kind". What is the appropriate English answer in this case? Also I'm not sure if the guy's answer ...
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1 vote
1 answer
372 views

Is it OK to say "Thanks all the same" in this scenario?

Someone sent a message to me unexpectedly and I replied with a question mark, then he told me that he just made a mistake by selecting the wrong recipient. I read the message and found that it is very ...
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

I will be/am interested to see

I will be interested to see whether there’s a white Christmas in London tomorrow. I am interested to see whether there’s a white Christmas in London tomorrow. What is the difference between (1) and (...
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  • 720
2 votes
2 answers
129 views

How to politely end a phone call? [closed]

Sometimes when someone calls you، you need to end the call because there are no further things to talk about. As you have not initiated the call you expect the other party to end it. But sometimes ...
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Alternative to "Could you please"?

I have been using the following phrase when requesting information through email. Could you please ...? For example, "could you please send me the required documents?". As English is not ...
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1 answer
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Does writing 'DO' let me know or 'DO' confirm sound rude?

I wrote to a colleague and wanted the respondent to reconfirm back a detail. My sentence goes. Do confirm back if the sample used is from ___. Does writing 'DO' sounds rude. Does it sound like I am ...
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2 answers
247 views

In the US, on what occasion do you say "sir" when your listener is obviously younger than you?

I'm Asian who learned English at school. Our teachers taught us in class to add "sir" to be polite when talking to men. I'd assumed that you say so only when your listener is older than you. ...
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1 vote
1 answer
257 views

What's the correct form of this question?

I would like to know, what's the respectful format of this question: ( Business context ) Can we have a call? Could we have a call? Can I call you? Can I meet with you? Could I meet with you?
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1 vote
1 answer
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"as claimed by" is it appropriate to be used?

I am doing a literature review on cocoa demand and supply. The norm is cocoa demand is going up slightly. However, I was reading an article stating: Demand for cocoa is predicted to rise by 30% by ...
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1 answer
359 views

Can you call me after sometime? [closed]

I want to know which question is correct and polite with an interviewer: Would you please call me after sometimes? Or Can you please call me after somtime?
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to ask for a clarification for some word

For example, someone said: The dm said its our call I'm new to D&D, so I don't understand what does it mean by "our call". How do you ask for that? I tried: What do you mean by "...
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1 answer
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Social question for using titles before name

I'd like to ask about English culture. IF an (elementary) teacher address a parent without using Mr. Or Ms., but with first and last name only on their first email , what does it mean? Isn't this ...
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3 votes
2 answers
466 views

Does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."?

When I want to make some suggestions to others, does it sound rude to say "you'd better..."? I feel like it contains the implications that I am bossing people around. If so, what are some ...
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1 vote
1 answer
72 views

Is it proper to say “welcome back” to my colleague

I want to say "Welcome back" to my team mate who is at the same level in the organisation, when he came back to work after the new year holiday. But it sounds like a message sent from a boss ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What should I say in response to "I hope next year is better"?

How should I reply to this statement without using a bland "me too"? I want the conversation to keep going past this, but I'm not sure how to respond well.
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1 vote
0 answers
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How do I ask someone his/her position in his family(among his siblings)? [duplicate]

I want to learn a person's order/position in his family i.e., among his siblings. So can I say: "Where do you rank among your siblings?" Is this usage correct? If not, can anyone provide ...
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1 vote
1 answer
9k views

Asking politely for a meeting

I would like to politely ask my professor to meet me sometime soon. Could someone please let me know (1) whether my sentences are grammatically correct and also not weird to the ears of a native ...
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1 answer
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"Can you do this" or "Can you please do this" or "Could you please do this"?

Which is the correct response to someone if they want you to do this?
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0 votes
1 answer
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Would it be considered controversial to describe a character in my script as "black"? [closed]

Don't know if this is the wrong forum for this. I'm writing a script and I have described a character in it as "a tall black dude". Would that be considered controversial in the US?
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1 answer
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Who is being pleased, and why?

This is more of a curiosity than a full problem, but I was wondering who is being pleased, in common phrases using the term. (At breakfast) “May I have some jam, please?” In this case the jam-...
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2 answers
3k views

politely ask someone not to do something

I want to very politely ask someone (my professor) not to do something anymore, and I've been searching about how I should do it for more than 2 two hours, yet I could not find any useful answer. To ...
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  • 135
2 votes
2 answers
1k views

”Need to” and ”Would need to”

What is the difference between the following sentences? (1) You/I need to do it (2) You/I would need to do it Do we use the second one for distancing from reality and being more polite?
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  • 135
0 votes
2 answers
39 views

Tell me as a response

if someone ask your opinion just with your name, is it rude to answer “tell me”? For example, during a meeting, your boss exposes an idea and just say, Mely?is it rude just answering tell me
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1 vote
1 answer
394 views

It's the least I could do/have done

Is It's the least I could do. or It's the least I could have done. better in response to "Thank you"? I have seen people using "it's the least I could do" but personally, I ...
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0 answers
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Polite way to ask salary

I'd like to know what is the most polite way to ask a university director/coordinator in a email how much is the stipend/salary of a graduate program. Thank you very much!
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1 answer
306 views

What does "if you have anything else to say" mean?

if you have anything else to say What does it mean? Is it offensive or respectful to use it?
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2 answers
50 views

Dealing with unknown rude passenger

If in a train or bus some unknown elderly but rude passenger particularly a man, an old man, sitting on a seat which was already reserved by me, how to ask him to get up from there(the seat), Is "...
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17 votes
9 answers
11k views

Is it OK to respond to "thanks" with "sure"?

When someone says ..., thanks. Is it appropriate to respond with sure If so, in which situations it would be OK, and what exactly would it imply?
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  • 553
14 votes
4 answers
5k views

"Keep my mouth shut"....is it rude to say?

Today I had a lot of fun with a group of mums and kids in a muddy obstacle race. I fell into the muddy pool while my mouth was opened and drank some muddy water by accident. Then I said to the other ...
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  • 141
1 vote
2 answers
143 views

would: polite request

I'm learning modal verbs, would! I'll try for understanding how can 'would' be used for polite requests by approaching with a methodology. The methodology is that we think 'would' is the past version ...
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2 votes
1 answer
80 views

Is it polite to word requests in a form "can I get X"?

For context, I have recently started a new job, it's a startup in the UK and most employees come from an academic background. I have lived in the UK for 4 years but didn't study here, and English is ...
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0 votes
1 answer
141 views

Alternative words for disturbing in semi-formal register for emails

I asked a few questions and sent a few emails to a customer service and I want to begin with a kind of apologizing to my last email I will send. I do not think it should be too formal or too ...
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0 votes
2 answers
1k views

Formal alternative to 'what are you doing here?'

As far as I know, there is a fixed phrase/idiom for saying what are you doing here? but I have forgotten it. It is a very formal and polite way of saying that. What are you doing here? can sound ...
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1 vote
3 answers
4k views

Asking 'why are you asking this to me?'

Someone asks me a question in very formal conversation. And I want to know why he/she is asking me this question. Basically, I want to know the reason and purpose behind this question. How can I ask ...
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  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
87 views

What is the attitude when you call someone with title Mr.?

Here is a part of the conversation in a movie I watched: Bosley: Elena? Elena: Hi. Bosley: Welcome. Elena: Uh, Mr. Bosley? Bosley: Just Bosley. Elena: Thank you for seeing me. Two persons are ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is this sentence impolite?

I came across this sentence while I reading some questions randomly. The question starts with this sentence: This is a bit of a noob question so bear with me. Obviously, the user wants to excuse ...
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0 votes
1 answer
171 views

an idiom about moving to somewhere

I want to ask someone why on earth he moved from A (a city with high standards of living) to B (a disastrous one), because it's unreasonable and I'm nosy, through a polite idiom. Is there anything for ...
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51 votes
2 answers
14k views

Is "cops" (= police) a slang/derogatory term?

So, I was with a friend getting Starbucks. While talking to him I used the term "cops" 💬. A customer waiting for their coffee said "We don't say 'cops' honey, it's disrespectful."...
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is 'boarding the plane' more formal than 'getting on the plane'?

When I go to an airport, the airport announcement announces 'boarding a plane' than 'getting on a plane'. Because they say in public places all the time, I start to feel 'boarding' is a more formal ...
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0 votes
1 answer
78 views

When calling a company in the united states, how do you start a conversation?

How do you initiate the conversation? Should you use the phrase "How are you?" after or before introducing yourself? I assume it is after you introduce yourself? "Hi, this is ... calling, how are you?...
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0 answers
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If I say "Well you have yourself a good bank Holiday" and they reply "Yeah" and don't turn round. Are they rude?

If I say "Well you have yourself a good bank Holiday" and they reply "Yeah" and don't turn round. Are they being rude? A co-worker had their back to me. I said this as a way to say Bye. They ...
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2 votes
2 answers
106 views

Gentle synonym for stupid

How you can express that you felt stupid for a thing you told but without using the term "stupid", like in a nicer manner? For example: She felt "stupid" for the things she told to her friend.
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0 votes
1 answer
205 views

Does referring to a third person by their first name require you to be on a first name basis with that person?

Suppose you are talking to your friend about a third person called Mrs. Firstname Lastname. Suppose you are not on a first name basis with this third person; that is, if you spoke to this third person ...
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