58

I am going to write this answer from a sociolinguistic perspective, because there is a lot at stake that can't be explained with a yes/no answer. Nonetheless we shall still make an attempt at giving a simple answer to your title question. Yes "cop" is considered slang. No, it is not derogatory. For a term to be considered derogatory, it has to ...


33

The phrase keep your mouth shut could be used literally, as you have used it, to mean that you should physically close your mouth to keep something from getting into it. I can think of no situation where using the phrase as you have used it could be interpreted as you being rude. The phrase can also be used to mean shut-up or don't speak. For example ...


29

Yes, this is a common, idiomatic response among English speakers where I live (California). It's casual, so it's mainly used for the kind of casual situation where people would say "Thanks" all by itself, like in the following: "Could I have some of your sunscreen?" "Sure, here you go." "Thanks." "Sure." ...


26

Answering from a US English perspective. I think what you said was misheard. I can't think of a situation where talking about keeping your own mouth shut would be rude. But telling someone else to keep their mouth shut would be considered rude.


20

It depends on the person you are speaking to and the way you say it. I don't think sure is a common way to respond to thanks, because it's potentially ambiguous. It could be interpreted as a shortened form of: Sure thing! , which is equivalent to Anytime! or You're welcome! It could also be interpreted as: Sure you are... , which is a sarcastic (read: ...


10

in which situations it would be OK, and what exactly would it imply? It would be okay in the USA. If you said it in the UK, it would imply that you are using American English. As has been said in comments, this may or may not be understood in other places than North America. If it is understood, then it is through watching American TV and cinema. In ...


6

Although I think the instructor may have misinterpreted, I can offer an alternative. "keep one's mouth shut" usefully refers to speaking, especially when coupled with "keep". I might have used the phrase "Next time I'll remember to keep my mouth closed!" Or even safer, "Next time I'll remember not to leave my mouth open!&...


5

Q1: Is "cops" a derogatory term or slang? Does it have a negative connotation? A1. Yes, cops is definitely a slang term. It was also widely considered a derogatory term in the recent past. Whether it is still considered a derogatory term may depend on factors like region or age. @BowlOfRed is correct that the term was widely considered ...


4

It is a perfectly normal response that people will understand if you say it to them. I say of course when someone says Thank you, and I see that as a normal response also. The same with no problem, you're welcome, yes, etc. I see it is as a much better response than receiving no response at all.


4

"You might want to" is a very polite way of giving advice to somebody. You can just say your advice or if you want to be even more polite, you can say "You might want to think about" + gerund (verb + ING) or "You might want to consider" + gerund (verb + ING). You can find loads of examples on YouGlish. This site shows every ...


4

But it sounds like I am thinking that the other person says bullshit. It doesn't sound like that to me. It's a normal way to ask another person for elaboration. It's polite enough for a casual chat among friends. You can make things more polite by asking indirect questions. Could you tell me what "our call" means? Can you please explain what you ...


3

It's only standard in parts of the USA, as far as I know. In Eastern Canada*, "sure" comes across as rude. We normally say "(You're) welcome" or "No problem" instead, or maybe "Don't mention it", "My pleasure", or "No worries". But if it's an American saying "sure", I think most Canadians ...


3

I'm American, born and raised, and even I wouldn't say "sure" unless I'm using it dismissively. Trying to get across that I don't care about their gratitude. This is just a product of my childhood though. When I was in Middle-school I had a teacher that would always send me out of class for responding with "sure" so to me (and her I guess)...


3

I agree that the instructor probably misheard! But some context might be helpful. "Keep your mouth shut" is a very rude, often aggressive or threatening way of telling someone to stop talking, or to not say anything (maybe about a particular subject). You could say it to a friend in a non-serious way, but you wouldn't say it to someone you were ...


3

But why do I have to? You actually don’t, you could choose to not read their question. Similarly, if a shopkeeper said that to you, you could always take your business elsewhere. The way “bear with me” is usually interpreted is as a plea. I guess this is such a common interpretation that the word “please” is not seen as necessary, though it would be used in ...


3

Black should be capitalized, but it would otherwise be fine. When used to describe Americans of African descent, "Black" is not just an acceptable term to describe them with, but is is in fact the preferred term - but when doing so, it should be capitalized. To quote the New York Times, in a recent article they published regarding a change in their ...


3

They are all grammatically correct. However, in terms of politeness, I think the first works best. The other 2 have a much different tone because of how central the pronoun 'you' is in their constructions. By using that the tone of the sentence comes off much more as a demand than a question.


3

The phrase “you had better X” is often used to state a threat, so I would avoid it. There are some situations where it wouldn’t be perceived that way, but I think it would be difficult to know which context is OK unless you’re very fluent. An example is, It’s going to rain cats and dogs tonight according to the weather forecast. You’d better wear a hat! ...


2

"Mister" (Mr) is a formal title, however, it isn't always used in a formal setting, nor does its use mean that the situation is a formal one. Businesses often address their customers with a formal title and surname, eg "Mr Jones", "Mrs Jones" etc. However, this is changing in some kinds of businesses. For example, my bank asked ...


2

Maybe it would up the politeness level if you said something like "Could I trouble you to...?" or "So sorry to bother you but could I ask you/could you tell me/would you be able to...?" or something along those lines, acknowledging that it is possible they are able but you don't want to assume they are willing.


2

While I would not consider replying with "Sure" to be polite, I have noticed that it is extremely common among Indian English speakers to reply with "Sure" in this context as a normal reply. Here is an example: "Thanks, I appreciate the explanation you gave." "Sure." For a frame of reference, I am a traditional ...


2

You might say something like Thank you for considering X; it's not a problem any more because Y. Again, thank you." That way, you aren't telling the professor what to do, just letting them know that further effort is not necessary.


2

"I need to do it." This usage expresses immediate necessity - similar to "must do it" but it shows less emphasis and obligation. "I would need to do it." In this example, the modal expresses a hypothetical situation such as a conditional: "[If something happened,] I would need..." or can imply the behavior of a ...


2

If your boss asks your opinion, you should tell your boss your opinion. "Tell me" is an instruction. It doesn't tell your boss your opinion. So it doesn't respond to the boss in a meaningful way. It would be rude. You can't use "Tell me" like that. Boss: I think we should raise the price. Mely? Mely: I think that's a good idea./ I don'...


2

As a native Engish speaker I don't recognise a bald "Tell Me" as a standard response and I'm not sure what your intention is. Boss: I think we should take option X, it seems to be most cost-effective. Mely? I guess that's a request for you. Mely, to state your opinion. In my eyes this somewhat informal, but perhaps normal in your culture. I might ...


2

You can say it to anyone really! It just carries a sense of them being absent from a place where they usually are, while you are still there, and then you greet them when they return. It's a friendly and polite thing to say. If that feels too much like you're representing the company, you could just make it more of a personal greeting, like "good to see ...


2

In American usage it is becoming less and less common to say "sir" and "ma'am," at least in my experience in the Northeast and Midwest. Perhaps retail employees might use it when greeting a customer, and customer support personnel having a telephone conversation might use it to indicate politeness (as body language is not transmitted over ...


2

Why do you think that could be offensive!? It is polite, even highly polite. It uses two polite expressions: "please" and the tentative "could you". As for alternatives. You could more tentative with "Would it be possible for you to send me..." Business emails should normally be fairly simple and direct. Adding "please&...


1

The following It was the least I could do concisely and grammatically expresses the intended meaning, but also grammatical is It is the least I could have done The sequence of tenses in It is the least I could do might annoy a grammatical purist, but, with such formulaic and phatic language, no one is likely to notice, and anyone who does notice is ...


1

The sentence is very much self-explanatory. "If you have anything else to say" means the addresser is asking for a clarification whether the addressee has something else to say or add to their previous statements. Using the sentence "If you have anything else to say, please add..." in a formal conversation could be offensive. If you are ...


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