English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I do not know what would be the best way of saying this:

Suppose you walk into a shop and you notice there is not a single customer in the shop. So you cannot be sure if the shop has already started its business for the day. How can you ask the staff?

Can we say-

Have you started servicing?


Are you open now or sth ?

Thank you.

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, David M, RyeɃreḁd, Canis Lupus, Kristina Lopez Mar 15 '14 at 19:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – FumbleFingers, David M, RyeɃreḁd, Canis Lupus, Kristina Lopez
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Hello, Sahand. The sister site, ELL, deals with basic questions like this. Though 'Have you started serving?' and 'Are you open?' said with a smile should get you through until you can repost. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 15 '14 at 16:27
Hi @Sahand, welcome to ELU. I think with basic questions like this you should ask on English Language Learners, where you'll probably get better answers more targeted to non-native speakers. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '14 at 16:28
@Sahand: I agree with the others that you might enjoy English Language Learners more. I have edited your question a bit so the style sounds more like that of a native speaker. I did this in an effort to help you to learn, not because the question was unreadable. Good luck with your studies. – David M Mar 15 '14 at 16:40
Thanks guys for your advice, I will take it. – Sahand Mar 15 '14 at 16:44
Judging from the time it often takes to find a member of staff in a department store, I sometimes wonder if they are open at 2.00 in the afternoon! – WS2 Mar 15 '14 at 17:27
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Are you open (yet)? would be the typical way to ask this in American English.

It will be perceived as polite, and will be understood immediately.

share|improve this answer
Thanks @David, is it typical to ask such a question. I mean if a native faces the same situation what will they normally say? – Sahand Mar 15 '14 at 16:31
@Sahand Without question. You have my word as a native speaker of American English. – David M Mar 15 '14 at 16:34
Thanks mate for your help :) – Sahand Mar 15 '14 at 16:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.