34

Excuse me for a moment please This leaves both purpose and destination unstated, but by making it clear that the absence will be very temporary, does not cause anyone to think that it is a total departure. This will usually be understood sufficiently in context. There are of course, many euphemisms, some gender specific, some not, some considered more ...


31

The right way to say this in the UK would be "I need to go to the toilet" or just "I need the toilet". Contrary to puppetsock, the word "WC" is hardly used these days, and younger people especially would not know what it meant. You might use it to excuse yourself from an audience with the Queen, but for everyone else you should say "toilet". "Bathroom" ...


22

I (an Asian American) grew up in a rural part of Florida where I was asked that question pretty much anytime I had an encounter that lasted longer than 3 sentences. From my experience, just throwing in a "Is it cool if I ask you..." before you ask at least kind of tells me you don't think you're entitled to an answer, and is a solid way of being polite ...


18

(Excuse me,) I need to use the toilet/bathroom/restroom. Exactly how that room is named depends on the continent. The commenters are right, toilet is most often used in British English, while Americans prefer restroom or bathroom. The phrase is not limited to urination: (Euphemism) to urinate or defecate. May I be excused to use the bathroom? I have to ...


18

First think: "Why do I need to know?" Just being curious is not a need to know. It is impolite to ask for personal information just to satisfy your curiosity. If you don't need to know, then don't ask. If you decide that for some reason you do actually need this information, then explain your reason and ask directly. If you ask for some personal ...


13

I am very surprised that none of the answers or comments so far have mentioned the word "loo", as in "I need the loo"or "Where is the loo?". It is at least as polite as toilet. In addition, there is a certain snobbery about that word, with many users of BrE considering (quite incorrectly, on linguistic grounds) that "toilet" is a mealy-mouthed, lower-class ...


12

There is no polite way to bring the image into others' minds of your spraying out waste water from your privy parts. The polite way to excuse yourself is to say some variation on I need to go. or I'll be back in a minute. If it's a need at that exact moment, then it's pretty obvious in almost all situations what that need is and you don't need to spell ...


10

At an interview, you should not be too effusive with your greeting, or too verbose (unless invited by a leading question intended to draw you out). The interview panel makes the moves, so I suggest you be polite and uncontroversial. Good morning / afternoon is sufficient, with a brief look around the interviewers to make it clear you are greeting them ...


8

I need to... ...see a man about a dog. ...shake the dew off the lily. ...condense some fog. ...tinkle. ...pee. These are all colloquial and somewhat humorous ways people often convey this information.


8

To the very good answers you've already received, I'll add that you're right to say that trying to elicit information about an Asian American's background by asking "where are you from?" isn't a good idea. However, the problem isn't just that the person is likely to respond by (correctly) telling you that s/he is from the States (or a particular US state), ...


7

In the US, it is acceptable to say "I need to freshen up" if it is not urgent. This gives the listener the ambiguity that the urinator is just washing their hands and applying make-up, on the listener's behalf.


6

In the UK we just say... "Just popping to the loo" or "Need the loo, be right back". Or "Excuse me, I just need to go to the toilet". But very rarely "Gonna point Percy at the porcelain". Some people say "Need a wee" or "Need a pee", "Just going for a pee/wee", or "Jimmy riddle" = Piddle. Don't use "Going for a piss/slash/wizz". It seems vulgar.


5

Personally I say, “Please excuse me, I need to visit the boy’s room”. Or for women: “Please excuse me, I need to visit the ladies.” Please note: The original question was about the need to urinate. I don't think you need to say why you want to go to the boy's room or the ladies.


4

'I need to urinate' sounds odd. You cannot say 'I need to urinate'in a formal situation or in public places. We don't usually say 'I need to urinate'. If we need to use washroom, we ask 'where's the washroom?' or 'could you, please tell me where's the washroom.'And if you are eating together in a table and you need to use the washroom you can say, 'excuse ...


4

Different cultures will have different ideas about this. When I was growing up, only an actual relative ever got called "Auntie", but in the situation you describe, my wife would certainly have called the woman "Auntie".


4

Don't ask; tell You think that you know this person well enough that you should know each other's ancestries. That's your opinion. The other person may have a different opinion. Since you are the one who believes that this information should be shared, share yours. Your information is entirely under your control. You can choose to share or not share. ...


4

When politely greeting one person, we can say "good morning/afternoon/evening", and possibly add "sir" for a man, or "madam" for a woman, although these are now very old-fashioned in Western countries, except for e.g. royalty, judges in court, etc. "Sir" and "madam" do not have plurals. To greet a group, mixed in gender, we can say "Good morning/afternoon/...


3

You have several options on how to proceed: Decide for yourself, according to the social rules in your area / country. Ask your friend how it is best to call those women. Ask the women themselves how they prefer to be called. Sometimes people have special preferences about how they want to be called, other times they are happy when they are called in an ...


3

May I be excused is a common and polite way to go out for a toilet.


3

We generally don’t use the article before titles, unless they are treated as common nouns, for instance when they are preceded by an adjective. Therefore, we say “Professor John Smith” (note the uppercase for “Professor”), but “the famous professor John Smith.” If there is an adjective, it causes the effect of turning the title (usually a proper name) into a ...


3

If the context is clear, I think a good way to express what I think you mean (*) could consist of using the phrasal wave somebody over. Here follow a couple of examples taken from Google books: Chad knew the moment he stepped into El Rosal for dinner that night he was in trouble. He thought he'd come in early -- just after five -- and would beat the ...


3

This probably depends on who you ask, but I would use: Oh, that's a very broad question. Could you be more specific? See broad: adjective A broad description or idea is general rather than detailed. specific is fine. concrete might be better in something like "a concrete idea/solution". But wide wouldn't be used in this context.


3

It just means any sort of unpleasant or unwanted substance. Thus, it could also cover excreta of all sorts, as well as soap scum, dirt, greasy residues and so on. It also applies metaphorically to other things, as many words describing physical substances do.


2

The correct one is “Would you mind taking a minute to answer my messages please?” To correct the first one, it could rather be written as, “Would you please mind taking a minute to answer my messages?” (The position of please is not the thing causing the problem here) Also, Would you mind is already being used as a "polite" phrase, so "please" ...


2

You could say, "I need a few moments to catch up with my long-lost friend; please, everyone, go on ahead to the restaurant, and I will meet up with you there shortly." There are probably a million ways to express this, and it's much easier of course, to think it through with time and space, and much harder to express everything in a polite and effective way ...


2

To me, "Let me come up with..." implies something you are going to do in future (because it needs time to do). So I would have used "Let me present a more interesting..." Apart from that minor detail, there is nothing wrong with the sentence. But it does say that your idea is better than their idea - which could annoy them I suppose. You could tone it down a ...


2

Who's calling? is a neutral way of asking the caller to identify themselves. May I ask who's calling? is more polite. Who's this?, depending on the tone of voice used, could sound terse and unfriendly, suspicious, impolite, angry at being disturbed, and so forth.


2

"I was wanting to know" is fine. Use 'send', not 'sent', then it will be OK. Using a complex construction like I was wondering whether... or I was wanting to know if ... is one way to be polite, as a commenter has said. The construction is considered more polite because it tells the listener about the speaker's desire to know something, without directly ...


2

If you want to express exactly that meaning, just use the conjunction: "Greet people and (invite them to sit down)/(show them to their seat)" There will be other expressions you could use. Greeting and directing to the table are two distinct actions, so it makes sense that they require two verbs. But, in context one or other action can be implied: When ...


2

No worries or no problem both work perfectly here. The issue with a one-word response is that brevity over text can easily be interpreted as being annoyed or otherwise upset with the person you're talking to. There are a number of ways you can soften a short okay to convey the proper meaning, however. This is less the realm of proper, conventional English, ...


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