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

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2answers
68 views

How to address a female interviewer

So just had a phone interview, the interviewer was a lady, now that i want to write a thank you letter, how should i address her, Ms or Mrs, because i am not supposed to know she's married or not
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3answers
39 views

What is the correct way to respond to sender with full name

I recently received an email I need to respond to, but I am unsure of the correct way to address the sender. Dear Mr Sayse, [ . . . email body . . . ] Regards Joe Bloggs Is it ...
1
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1answer
64 views

Diplomatic word to express having difficulty or finding it unpleasant working with someone. [closed]

I'm filling out a feedback form for a senior colleague who I've been working with, I want say something like Last year I had some difficulty working with John, but since the start of the year ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

“Take the weight off your feet”: offensive?

I kind of have the impression that the phrase, "take the weight off your feet," is offensive towards fat people (sorry couldn't think of any PC terms). Is my impression correct? or have I just ...
2
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3answers
162 views

Pretty Please and Similar Phrases

I was wondering who uses 'pretty please?' Is it used mainly by girls? Under what circumstances? Thank you for replying.
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2answers
55 views

Usage of “acknowledge” [closed]

Is it acceptable to write "We acknowledge Dr. AAA for his useful advice" to express gratitude or appreciation?
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5answers
108 views

Is it appropriate or polite to say 'I am here to educate you'?

When doing a presentation, is the following introduction I am here to educate you (or) Let me educate you considered polite to say to an audience?
-2
votes
1answer
72 views

Is it appropriate to use question marks in email? [closed]

I am a student and write to professors frequently. And often, I have to use sentences like this - Could you give me an appointment to meet you regarding this matter. I am usually confused ...
2
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4answers
120 views

Is there a more tactful way to tell someone they are “difficult to work with”?

I want to tell someone they have been “difficult to work with” in writing, but I don’t want to put it quite so directly. Is there another way to write it so that doesn’t sound as if it were some ...
4
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2answers
105 views

Males, Females, Girls and Guys

Is there a predominant pattern of usage of the terms girls and guys based on age of the described individuals? Are the patterns the same in the US and UK? At about what age is it considered ...
-1
votes
8answers
681 views

A 'polite' way to say that someone is fat [closed]

Can you help in finding an adjective or expression that you can use to tell a persons that they are fat or overweight in a as neutral as possible way. The overweight person in question is very ...
5
votes
9answers
739 views

What is a female or gender neutral form of gentleman that relays the same tone of respect? [duplicate]

At my office when referring to customers or external vendors I often use the word gentleman. I do this in effort to show that I’m speaking respectfully about them so the content and tone of my ...
0
votes
7answers
97 views

Alternative to “unrealistic”? [closed]

What would be a good word for describing that something is "unrealistic" in a less offensive way? Imagine this: The price you demand is unrealistically high!
14
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5answers
1k views

What is the best way of conveying respect to elders in English? [duplicate]

In Afrikaans, it is considered very disrespectful to use "you" ( "jy") when referring to someone who is above the level of a peer. Instead, it is expected that you use "u", which is a very respectful ...
0
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2answers
253 views

What would be your reply if someone asks you, “How do you do?” [duplicate]

What would be your reply, if someone asks you How do you do?
0
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5answers
319 views

How to say “I'm sorry for such a bother”

I am in the middle of constructing my email to my colleague and I am out of words on how to say "I'm sorry for such a bother". Is there any other way of saying it politely?
-1
votes
4answers
224 views

What is the expected response to someone saying “Happy Vacations” to you? [closed]

Someone has messaged me: Happy vacations. Are the following replies correct? Now it would be good. Same to you too! Or should it be Same to you too! Now it would be good. I want it to sound ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Is “Can you carry this book?” acceptable? [closed]

Is it grammatically correct to say: Can you carry this book? I said this to a friend and this person commented that I need to learn grammar. To me the statement seems grammatically correct and ...
1
vote
3answers
231 views

How can I ask someone if they are male or female politely? [duplicate]

In my daily work I communicate with a lot of people in my company that I have neither encountered in person nor heard them on phone. The conversation is usually e-mail or online chat. Some of them ...
9
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9answers
4k views

What do you mean when you ask “How are you?”

I have been asked one simple question many times by Americans: "How are you?". I know this does not mean that the person I am talking to wants to know how I feel, but sometimes I see that they repeat ...
0
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2answers
166 views

How do you address people at the beginning of a conversation?

I will have a visa interview (for the US) in a few days and I would like to know how I address people in a conversation. Especially, I would like to know the differences between the following: Sir ...
2
votes
4answers
887 views

Can “your reputation precedes you” be used as a negative statement?

I have always considered "your reputation precedes you" as a gesture of complement and respect. However it occurred to me if it is possible to use it for a notorious person with a bad reputation? ...
1
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5answers
138 views

I want to refer to Bill Gates on his blog with respect in the comments section

One way to address Bill Gates with respect would be to simply write Sir, but I don't want other readers to get confused about who I'm referring to. How do I refer to him with respect without creating ...
2
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4answers
162 views

Polite way to suggest talking about something

Is there a polite way to tell somebody that you want to tell him something, but only if he allows you to? For example, I'm talking to my friend and I want to tell him something about cats, but I'm not ...
1
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2answers
147 views

Thanks for having me [duplicate]

Is it common/correct to say "thanks for having me" after an interviewer says to you "thank you for coming to this interview"? Thanks :) Update: I'm referring to a job interview. (Thanks for pointing ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Proper etiquette for addressing comittee members [closed]

I am writing a formal letter to three committee members, that I would like to address by name. Instinctively, I chose to address them in order of importance/pertinence, but I am also considering ...
1
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5answers
294 views

How to say “I don't believe you” in a more academic way?

How to say "I don't believe you" in a more academic way? I need to say it to my teacher and I do not know how to say it, not to make her mad...
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5answers
5k views

I would like to kindly ask you could you check…?

I just want to know I would like to kindly ask you could you check......? could be a right structure for asking question? regards
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4answers
143 views

Is “has made it his business to” polite or impolite?

In this sentence: He has made it his business to reintroduce the theory to a new generation of activists. Is "has made it his business to" an impolite expression? Is it a radical expression? ...
0
votes
2answers
320 views

Polite way to inform that there is no need to reply (business language) [closed]

I am often requesting my colleges via email to update a status of a case they work on. The update (note) should be provided in application they work on which is also explained in my request. There is ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

Reply to “I hope you are well”? [closed]

What is the most appropriate response to "I hope you are well"? What are your reasons for choosing one reply above another? Replies I've thought of: I am very well, thanks. How are you? I am very ...
3
votes
2answers
339 views

Is the word “queer” an accepted and polite word for lesbian?

I was reading an article on the promulgation of the dental dam as a means of preventing sexually transmitted disease. Article here. The author of the article Arielle Duhaime-Ross consistently refers ...
11
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21answers
3k views

What is a word to describe a statement that seems meaningless

Is there a phrase or word in the English language that describes a statement or a discourse that seems meaningless or so broad it lacks value? For example Society grows best when those who plant ...
0
votes
2answers
461 views

When should we say 'Thanks' and when, 'Thank you'? [closed]

While I'm communicating with my colleagues and clients, I used to say 'Thanks' and 'Thank you'. I normally use 'Thank you' when I want to express it to a single person usually through e-mails, ...
23
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32answers
7k views

Alternative ways to say “I cannot answer that question”? [closed]

I'm getting bored of repeating the same "I can't answer that" phrase over and over. I'm trying other phrases, like "I'll leave that to your imagination," but that one sounds too weird. Specifically, ...
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Using the word “doc”

Merriam-Webster obviously says that the word is an abbreviation for doctor, and I also acknowledge the fact that it's less formal than doctor. My question is: when talking to your doctor, would it be ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

Are “of course” and “naturally” pedantic?

I've noticed that in most cases, the sentence "of course", is used when someone is trying to sound superior, in a sardonic way. In constranst they use "naturally" when they are patronising someone, ...
2
votes
2answers
166 views

How to respond to funeral request [closed]

This may not be the correct site for this question but I couldn't find a better alternative. How do I respond to this kind of question; So I'd like you to be the pianist for my funeral. Is that ...
1
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2answers
151 views

Polite request regarding availability

How do I ask if a person is available and to inform me, in a polite way?
1
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4answers
115 views

Does “nattering” have a negative connotation?

I hear people saying that they're "having a natter" with their friends, or 'If you want to have a natter about starting a project, give me a call!'. On different websites there are different ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

“Can” or “could”, which is grammatically correct?

I'm a call center agent. When I ask to transfer the call to the authorized person, which form should I use: Can I speak to...? or Could I speak to...?
3
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3answers
5k views

“Much obliged” — Old-fashioned? Polite? Pedantic?

I've heard someone say "Much obliged!" a couple of times, instead of the usual "Thank you!". A common phrase in Portuguese ("Muito Obrigado") and maybe other languages, but certainly unusual in ...
1
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5answers
631 views

How can I politely express that “I have understood”?

When my professor instructs me during his/her office hour, I may simply show my understanding by "Got it" or "I see". But I wonder how to say that politely and professionally in written English, ...
1
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1answer
127 views

Is “platonic” generally appropriate?

Specifically, I'm wondering about the definition about relationships: of, relating to, or having a close relationship in which there is no romance or sex. Is "platonic" generally appropriate? ...
1
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2answers
84 views

What is the correct phrase to ask to determine which group a first nations person considers themselves to be part of?

I met a women who I gathered was First Nations (or something like that). I struggled to ask the question to elicit the response to find more about her heritage and culture. What is the word that ...
1
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1answer
347 views

Is asking “come again?” to a complete stranger over the phone rude?

My Irish colleague told me that when talking to a customer over the phone asking:"come again?" is considered rude and even offensive since it is very informal and almost demanding. Now I did not ...
1
vote
2answers
558 views

How do I ask permission to override a course? [closed]

I need override for a course I want to take next semester. Instructor has asked to email him asking permission. What should I write in the email? Respected sir/madam, I need prerequisite ...
2
votes
4answers
866 views

In English, how do we use the polite form of address to somebody? [duplicate]

In French (my mother language), in order to be polite, we use "vous" (the second person of plurial) when we talk to another person who deserves respect (a boss, a teacher, etc.) and "tu" for a close ...
1
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2answers
941 views

Formal way of saying “when you are in need”

How can I write following in a formal way? It will help you when you are in need. It will help you when it is required. It will help you when needed. It will help you when you required to be helped. ...
3
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1answer
225 views

Is absence of the person needed in “On someone's behalf”?

In the middle of a conversation he had with my father, [Mr. X] asked him: “What does your son want to do in future?”. “He wants to do religious studies,” my father replied. He talked on my behalf ...