Questions tagged [politeness]

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

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4
votes
3answers
41k views

Is using "I am writing to" in an email considered too formal or old-fashioned?

I have seen in a letter writing textbook (also many websites like this) while preparing for my English test that we should begin a letter like this : Dear ..., I am writing to ... I have not ...
20
votes
7answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
8k views

What is the polite way to tell taxi driver that he can stop here?

My question is I want to primarily give the driver a choice. The secondary consideration is not being rude. I take taxi to home. My home is in a community. I often tell taxi driver "You can stop ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Proper way for asking to leave

I am about to take an assesment for responsible service of alcohol licence. There is a video question and I need to tell someone to leave in that video. Once I saw a scene in The Simpsons and there ...
1
vote
2answers
73k views

How to ask for someone's name and where they are from politely or indirectly?

If I want to ask a question in a polite way, how should I ask? Which is correct? May I ask you what's your name? May I ask you what your name is? Which is correct? Could you tell me where are ...
16
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2answers
3k views

How should I correct my spoken error?

Being an English language learner for about 30 years, I still make mistakes. In a written language, when I have misspelled and noticed it in a timely manner, I simply navigate to a wrong word and edit ...
6
votes
2answers
148k views

Usage of "your goodself" and "your kindself" in place of simple "you" to refer to a high-ranking official

I have seen people using "your goodself" or "your kindself" in place of simple "you" to refer to a high-placed official. They use the expressions just the way the expression "your Honour" is used. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

A polite way to let people go in front of you in a checkout queue

How can you politely tell someone standing behind you in a checkout queue that they can go in front of you? For example if they have only 1 or 2 items in their trolley and mine is full, or if I ...
1
vote
1answer
72 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
15k views

How to say just want to let you know politely

I am not a native speaker, is it not polite if I say Just want to let you know I am not sure if I told my friend before so I want to make sure she knows where the lesson will take place. Will it be ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

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 ...
13
votes
10answers
38k views

"Do the needful" -- Why is it used instead of asking a question?

Update: (Originally this was a comment, but I thought it was worth sharing here at the top.) In the original question, I asked if there was a polite, socially-acceptable way to ask an Indian co-...
0
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1answer
33 views

A request to the boss

When I have something I want to ask my boss, is it appropriate to say it like this? • I have a request to you. Would you please ...? Is there any more appropriate or polite way to say that?
2
votes
2answers
82 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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 (...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

"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?
3
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
75 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
8k views

How do you say: "I was doing many things at the same time"

I work with people that speaks in English (my native language is Spanish). Yesterday I gave the wrong information to a coworker, so I wanted to apologize and explain that my mind was doing several ...
2
votes
1answer
85 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?
0
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1answer
130 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?
1
vote
1answer
141 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
24k views

When I write emails, how do I say my name?

I am a non-native English speaker. While making a phone call, I should say, "This is Julie Park." That is what my English text book says. But when I am sending an email, what should I say? 1) ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

"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 ...
3
votes
2answers
101k views

Polite way of asking for response as soon as possible

As much this is but a straightforward question, it will be a pleasure to be answered as soon as possible. I am trying to say that since the question is simple enough I wish to get answered as ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

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 "...
0
votes
1answer
63 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?...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Is it considered as impolite to say, what's up when someone asks you to help

I was in a fashion shop for some clothing, and a man in the same shop suddenly came to ask me if I could help him fill in a short questionnaire. Because I didn't expect such thing to happen in a ...
6
votes
1answer
52k views

How to ask "If you have any problem then ask me" in polite manner

How to ask "If you have any problem then ask me" in polite manner. While discussing problem with my brother in chat, he most of the times ask me how you get to the solution and then I have to explain ...
17
votes
6answers
13k views

Is "I know" appropriate or rude in conversation?

Sometimes, during a conversation, someone tells me some fact or shares some knowledge and I reply by saying "I know". Would that be a rude thing to say? I feel very awkward when I say this and want to ...
6
votes
1answer
84k views

{It's been / It's} a long time since we last met

Which one is correct? It's been a long time since we last met. It's a long time since we last met. Does the format (sentence construction) change when a specific time, say 10 years, is given instead ...
1
vote
4answers
1k 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
815 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.
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

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?
0
votes
1answer
19 views

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-...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
148 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?
0
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2answers
33 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
3
votes
2answers
223k 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....
0
votes
0answers
26 views

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!
0
votes
0answers
117 views

"My apologies for have not been able to talk to you as I was at office."

Someone called me a hours ago and I was not able to talk to him as I was at office. Now, I receive an email from him and I want to reply it. How I can write him that I am sorry about not being able to ...
12
votes
3answers
484k views

Will you find someone saying "at your convenience" annoying and impolite?

I was writing an invitation email to a female principal who has a higher social status. She is a busy woman, so I would like to ask her to arrange a time and place for a meeting instead. Given that ...
0
votes
1answer
184 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?
0
votes
2answers
43 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 "...
0
votes
1answer
100 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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