Questions tagged [politeness]

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

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1answer
22 views

Getting to your seat on airplanes (or elsewhere)

On airplanes, there are seats A(window)-B(middle)-C(isle) on one of the sides. Suppose someone is sitting on seat C and I need to get to seat B. What are the most natural ways to ask the person from ...
9
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11answers
3k views

Is there a polite way to ask about one's ethnicity? [on hold]

Suppose I'm talking to a person who is an American citizen but obviously has some "Asian roots" (either they immigrated to the US at early age or their parents were immigrants). Is there a polite way ...
0
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2answers
23 views

How do I complete the sentence “If it's no trouble, ____”?

I'm trying to learn the sentence structure and I had a few thoughts about the possible structural continuations of the sentence. I was wondering if you could introduce any new possible continuations ...
0
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2answers
22 views

Is it OK or proper to ask someone “how late are you going to be open”?

Suppose you enter an office that you don't know of their working hours. Then, you turn and ask, Excuse me, how late are you going to be open? To ask the working hour. I haven't said this myself ...
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4answers
67 views

How do we call women not related to us, of different ages? The usage of mother, aunt and grandma

Do I call my friend's mother aunt Mai or mother Mai? She is a compassionate woman of no relation. And if the woman is very old and of no relation may I call her grandma Marla or what?
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0answers
44 views

What does “abuse” and “gnashing teeth” mean in Charles Darwin's letter?

In a letter by Charles Darwin to his friend, J.D. Hooker, he said the following at the end of the letter: In a year or two's time, when I shall be at my species book (if I do not break down), I ...
26
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16answers
7k views

What's the polite way to say “I need to urinate”?

What's the polite way in the UK to say "I need to urinate" (both for men and for women)? Or maybe there's no problem with that sentence? N.b. I'm asking about situations in which I know where it's ...
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1answer
35 views

How do I politely ask people to go away so that I can have a private conversation with someone?

Today I was walking with my colleagues to a restaurant, but on the way I met a friend, whom I wanted to have a small chat with. I wanted to ask my colleagues to go away and then I would catch up with ...
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2answers
35 views

Anything wrong with “Let me come up with a more interesting exercise”?

In the previous year I did a coding test problem when applying for a job; one of the problem requirements were of little sense to me, so I decided to replace it with a slightly different thing which I ...
0
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1answer
62 views

Is the word “crud” considered a euphemism for sh*t?

Some people have been saying the word "crud" since it has a same meaning for shit or sometimes crap (depending on if it's a swear word or not). So, I'm wondering if the word "crud" is considered a ...
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2answers
74 views

The proper way of asking this “would you mind…” question

I know this is not properly written: “Would you please mind a minute to answer my messages?” Is this the correct way? “Would you mind taking a minute to answer my messages please?” Or where ...
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1answer
25 views

Do you say Industrialist Henry Ford or the industrialist Henry Ford?

Do you say Industrialist Henry Ford or the industrialist Henry Ford? I have been speaking English in the US for 8 years now. The pattern I am seeing is that when you call someone by placing their ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Which of “Will you just go?” or “Can you just go?” works better?

One of my stu­dents barged into my class­room one day and was get­ting on my nerves be­cause I needed to clean up the mess he had him­self made ear­lier, so I wanted to ask him to leave me alone and ...
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0answers
640 views

“Noted. Thank you” as an answer to a letter informing about task completion? I mean office correspondence

Is it correct and polite to end business letter with "Noted. Thank you" as an answer to a letter informing about task completion?
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2answers
100 views

Is it rude to say “Excuse me, Ms.”?

I was wondering that above sentence on title, “Excuse me, Ms.” is rude or not. I’ve watched a video on youtube about English titles, but “Excuse me lady.” is very rude to get attention from women, ...
2
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2answers
109 views

Meaning of “greet people to the table”

How do you say greet people and invite them to the table? I thought "greet people to the table" meant that, but my English teacher told me, I can't and I can only say "greet people at a table", so ...
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2answers
501 views

Is “I was wanting to know” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct: I was wanting to know if I could sent you a link. It does not sound correct to me.
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1answer
44 views

Is this retirement wish appropriate to a senior lady?

A retirement wish on retirement card from an new employee to a senior lady that does not have a lot of connection at work. Does it look appropriate? All the best for your amazing retirement! Enjoy ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Is there a more well-fit work than “wide” and “concrete” in this context?

When I receive a call from a recruiter or such (e.g. a seller etc.) they usually start by presenting themselves and thereafter glide into asking me questions. I've concluded that those can be split up ...
1
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1answer
55 views

Who is this vs who is calling-telephone

What is the difference between "who is this?" and "who is calling?" when we answer to the telephone? Is the second one more polite than the first one? Lastly, is there any difference between AmE and ...
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2answers
39 views

Whether “illiteracy” is rude or impoliteness internet user name?

I want the "illiteracy" name say I'm an English illiteracy in other words Maybe I'm lack English skills to accurate express and understand, but some people say: And... please, change your name... ...
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2answers
2k views

'What are you?' vs. 'What do you do?'

What is the difference between 'What are you?' and 'What do you do?' in the job meaning? How to sense this difference if I need to ask about profession?
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1answer
214 views

What's the most polite and native way to say “no” in this scenario? [closed]

A customer pays a monthly bill for a specific service. The company wasn't able to provide this service for three days. The customer calls me since I work as a customer service representative and he ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Is it OK to use “heck” in public occasions?

The dictionary gives the following definitions: fuck: to have sex with someone. used when expressing extreme anger, or to add force to what is being said. heck: an expression of usually slight ...
0
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2answers
82 views

Using “help” instead of “please"

Some speakers use “help” instead of “please”: Can you help (to) confirm this? Can you help (to) send meeting notes? To mean the same thing as: Can you please confirm this? Can you please send ...
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1answer
436 views

Polite alternative for “Is there any reason why we still haven’t done this yet.?”

Is there any reason why we still haven’t done this yet.? I feel it's not very polite to ask like this. I am not sure. Is there a more polite way of aking this?
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2answers
80 views

Is it inherently rude to say “I don't see how that's X”?

When someone in semi-formal conversation says to me "It is X" and I disagree, would it be too rude to reply "I don't see how that's X?"
1
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1answer
48 views

Is 'You can do…' enough polite to provide options?

Suppose that I send invoices to my clients recurrently. Sometimes the amount is too small to pay alone. In that case, I don't mind they pay with next invoice. You can pay it together with next one....
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2answers
85k views

Let me know when you are free to discuss VS Let me know your convenient time to discuss which is right and polite

When writing an email to a person to get a time to discuss some thing, what would the correct and polite way of writing among the below two. If both are wrong then what would be the right thing to say....
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1answer
3k views

Is it rude to ask “What have you been doing since you have been here?”

If I say to my English friends What have you been doing since you have been here? (in fact I want to know how they have been occupied) is it impolite? Why? (tense or verb) How can I say this ...
37
votes
6answers
25k views

What's a polite way of asking “who are you?” on the phone?

Say, you're working in a company. The phone rings and you pick it up. On the other line, someone wants to speak to one of your co-workers. You want to tell your co-worker who this person is. I think ...
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1answer
1k views

Can the phrase “kind enough” be misunderstood?

I was thinking of writing in an email that Joe was kind enough to do XYZ for me but when I read it, it stroke bad to me in terms that it sounded like implying that "usually Joe is not enough kind ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Help me explain the phrase “After you” [closed]

A friend of mine who's learning english asked what the phrase "after you" means and I said it is used in polite situations as another way of saying "I will do something after you do it" I've never ...
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3answers
2k views

Is calling someone “creepy” rude?

I learnt "creepy" is feeling unease or scared, but it's not considered rude to say creepy at someone? In my language, when people felt scared about something in horror, we use a word close to "eerie" ...
3
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1answer
2k views

Did you have a moment to talk? vs Do you have a moment to talk?

When calling someone say as a customer service representative, which sentence is the correct one to choose? Did you have a moment to talk? vs. Do you have a moment to talk? I have heard ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it proper to address a woman “Lady”?

I know when you address a group of people, you may use "Ladies and Gentlemen". But if you need to address a woman that you don't know her name, is it OK to address her "Lady"? For example, can I say ...
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2answers
80 views

Is this polite?

I think I would be none too bold in asking to be informed of the real reason why I have been demoted, sir. A more informal way to say it would be: I don't think I am impolite at all if I ask you ...
0
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1answer
53 views

Different ways to ask somebody to wait

Are there differences in meaning (and possibly context) of the following three ways to ask somebody to wait? Or is one of these options even ungrammatical? 1 I'm going to ... I'm just going to ...
2
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3answers
772 views

Should I use “you welcome” every time for “thanks” or does it depend on context?

What is exactly use of "you welcome"? Suppose there are two scenario: If someone come to me for help and I did then he might say "thanks". In this scenario I will reply "you welcome". If I go to ...
2
votes
1answer
568 views

Ask feedback(formal)

I'm new here and I going to give a lot of questions in further =) I and my friend make cartoons. And soon we will share the new one. So I want to ask people to give some feedback. Which example is ...
2
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2answers
5k views

Why “yours truly” means “me”?

I don't understand how yours truly can mean me, they are two complete differents words, maybe if it was mine truly I could understand a little better, but the truly part would stil being strange. ¿...
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1answer
76 views

What is the meaning of “Magic Password”? [closed]

Russian «волшебное слово» (magic word) usually refers to «спасибо», «пожалуйста» и «будьте добры» (thank you, you are welcome, please). Is it the same? If so, why «password»? UPD. — Can you ...
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6answers
16k views

Will you be my friend?

I used to meet foreigners at work in Taiwan and wanted to express my willingness to make friends with them, but I didn't know what to say or how to express, so I googled on the web and it usually ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How to invite a colleague to do a casual activity with you using proper language?

I would like to make friends at work as I am a migrant and am pretty much isolated from the society. What I am not sure about is how to invite someone (a colleague I mean) to do a casual activity ...
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2answers
302 views

Would it be considered impolite to use um-hum in a conversation?

I am not a native speaker, so I wonder if using "um-hum" to express my sincere affirmation during a conversation would backfire? I guess I just wanted to avoid monotonic reaction to people's talking. ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Indirect questions usage [duplicate]

Sometimes I use the indirect questions as stated below, Could you please tell me, where is this address?? Sometimes, I feel it's not correct, although it's understandable to any person. So tell me,...
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1answer
2k views

How to tell someone “you don't understand my mean” politely in English?

When does someone not understand my mean, how can tell I it politely?
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1answer
67 views

Using first person as a polite way to ask second person to do something

I emailed someone asking for a piece of information. He wrote back: "I'd contact X for the latest data." I'm having trouble understanding what he (a native speaker) meant by using the word would. It ...
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2answers
2k views

Non-binarist “Dear Sir or Madam”

Years ago, before this site existed, I asked a question about the phrase "Dear Sir or Madam" on English Language & Usage SE. Yesterday, I got a new comment: "Dear Sir or Madam" and "Dear Sir/...
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1answer
106 views

Is the expression “wear the pants” outdated?

Is the expression "wear the pants" in relationship somehow outdated, because women too wear pants nowadays? The other day I jokingly said to my colleague and her fiancee "Who wears the pants here." ...