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

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How to politely ask a man or a woman's chest size?

For a lady: What's your bust measurement, Madam? For a man: What's your chest size, sir? Are these correct and polite? Thanks.
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4answers
63 views

Opening-conversation for requesting a service over the phone

As a non English speaker with a non English name, I find myself opening quite a long question before I even get a confirmation about the fact that, the person in the other side can even help me in ...
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2answers
43 views

Colloquial terms for “[please do X] according to your own ethical assumptions”?

When I want to ask someone to do something that has some costs (like personal involvement, time, money), but want to leave it to that person to decide how much to spend on that - how do I express that ...
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5answers
86 views

Responding with “OK” & “Welcome” to “Thank you” [duplicate]

Please, let me make it clear that my question is not asking how native speakers usually respond to "Thank you". Before posting this question I did some research and I also read this discussion: How do ...
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0answers
37 views

Friendlier synonym for “regards” in an e-mail [duplicate]

I was about to send an email to some colleagues, then at end I wanted to say "bye" but saying just "Cheers" was too friendly and "Best regards" was too official. "Yours faithfully" would be even ...
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1answer
110 views

Is “should” appropriate for polite requests?

I am placing request to a customer for a project and I want him to provide some information. I had worked with them in a previous assignment and they failed to provide me most of the details ...
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9answers
562 views

Word to describe the caring of the seller for the buyer?

A buyer and a seller come to a trade agreement. During the discussion, the seller (whose product is good quality) shows that they are a generous person, like so: The buyer expresses that although ...
2
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2answers
92 views

What part of speech is “thank you”?

Can anybody please tell me the subject, verb, and object of this sentence: Thank you all for conducting a landmark experiment. I would also like to please know what part of speech thank you ...
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2answers
192 views

How to reply when someone says 'you deserve this'

I always wonder if it is okay to reply with just a 'Thanks' when someone says 'you deserve this' or 'you have done a great job'. Can someone please advise me about whether saying 'Thanks' and leaving ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Etiquette in diplomatic use of the English language (pronunciation of names) [closed]

Does anyone know what the etiquette and usages are when two heads of state, both non-native English speakers, talk to each other in English during an official meeting? E.g. when an Italian head of ...
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4answers
68 views

Does “Could I …?” always sound more polite than “Can I …?”?

For example, if I say Could I borrow your pen? Does it sound more polite than Can I borrow your pen? I am not a native English speaker, but I rarely hear someone says "Could I ...?". ...
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3answers
132 views

Mentally challenged as differently abled [closed]

Can we politely refer to somebody who is mentally challenged but leading an almost normal life upon professional support as differently abled?
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2answers
74 views

Is responding 'maybe' to an opinion or statement of fact rude?

When telling someone a statement of fact (i.e. something you know, without a doubt to be true), if they respond "maybe", which to me suggests the possibility that you are wrong, is this rude? ...
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2answers
66 views

How, as a parent, do I address a teacher (in the UK)?

In semi/non-official correspondence, how a parent should address a teacher of their children? Dear Miss Lastname, Dear Ms Lastname, Dear Firstname or something else? I know it's more about ...
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3answers
125 views

Need polite phrases expressing disagreement with the information/conclusions of another person, especially an educator [closed]

My classmate told me I should always say, "With all due respect," or "I politely disagree," when disagreeing someone - especially an educator - in order to avoid being perceived as rude. For example: ...
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2answers
6k views

How to correctly use the expression “safe travel(s)”?

A colleague of mine recently reached out to me. I asked if he would like to meet up sometime to which he notified me that he would be traveling the remainder of this week. In what context is it okay ...
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2answers
94 views

“I was away for the weekend”

I work as a customer service representative in a software company. Sometimes I receive customer support questions during weekends. I check them on Monday. What is the correct way of saying that I ...
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3answers
715 views

Good Luck **in** all your endeavors' versus Good Luck **to** all your endeavors'

What is the difference between 'I am currently busy with family stuff so I really don't know when is a good time to catch up. Good Luck in all your endeavors' versus 'I am currently busy with ...
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2answers
49 views

A more polite expression than “minor languages”

I am translating a text to English for a university describing a program aimed at multicultural literacy: Students acquire minor languages in addition to English. The above translation is no ...
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2answers
1k views

When someone leaves at 4pm - should I say “Have a good afternoon” or “evening”? [closed]

Could you please help me? I started work as a receptionist. I have to greet people that come and go. What should I say in this occasion: example: It is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say ...
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5answers
847 views

How are you spelling, or how do you spell?

I have just given my surname to someone on the telephone, and they asked me as do most people these days How are you spelling the name? It always sounds as if they think I change my name every day and ...
5
votes
3answers
608 views

How to reply to “you ok” in British? [closed]

I recently shifted in UK and started to work, here people always say "you ok?" When I am in kitchen or I am working and they pass by. How should i respond to it. Is it rude to simply say I m good or ...
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1answer
102 views

Polite/professional auto-acknowledgment email for support inquries

I am trying to create an auto acknowledgment email for support requests we receive. I want it to look polite and professional, but I find it a bit difficult to word properly since I am not a native ...
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0answers
75 views

I am about to go now vs I have to go now - Which is more polite? [closed]

Is "I am about to go now" grammatically correct? If so, is it more polite than "I have to go now"?
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0answers
103 views

How to politely say to sellers in stores that you don't need help? [closed]

This happens quite often. You're at a store, and while looking for clothes sellers come over and ask if you need any help. And since my English is far away from normal English I just use what I know ...
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4answers
102 views

Word or phrase for people butting in and taking a side in an online conversation?

The phenomenon is not dissimilar to this: Word for "butting in on the Net", yet it wouldn't necessarily be considered trolling. Person A replies to a comment/post by Person B on the ...
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2answers
97 views

Past tense equivalent of “will do”

I suffer from spending inordinate amounts of time on email. Once in a while I get an email that I can respond to succinctly by saying, "Thanks for the suggestion -- will do." Suppose I respond to ...
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2answers
326 views

How to respond to “I'm sorry” appropriately

One thing that's been bugging me about English recently: Let's say I stole Joe's gym socks. Then a month later I went to Joe and said "I'm sorry I stole your socks." Joe's typical response would be ...
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3answers
218 views

Object pronoun: me and John, or John and me?

When using ourselves and another person as the subject of a sentence, we use their name first (like "John and I"); but when the same two people become the object of a sentence, which order should the ...
7
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1answer
318 views

Beginning a question with “Say,”?

Since English is not my native language, I have a hard time understanding some expressions I hear in movies. From what I gather, it's possible to start a question with "say", such as "Say, do you know ...
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2answers
183 views

When to use “Do you mind…?” and when “Would you mind…?”

I know that "Would you mind… ?" (the Present Conditional) is more polite than "Do you mind…?" (the Simple Present), and also, that they have to be completed this way: "Do you mind if I do sth?/Would ...
22
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11answers
6k views

Why doesn't the English language have distinct words to use when talking to elders? [closed]

In many of the languages that I've studied there are separate distinctions in the words to use when talking to elders and when talking to someone of your age or younger. For e.g. in Hindi, if I ...
0
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1answer
68 views

How much is idiom “chew the fat” acceptable and neutral?

Does the idiom have strictly negative meaning or is it neutral? Can it be used to talk not only about close people so that not to insult anybody?
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1answer
110 views

“Good for Me!” as a response to someone doing something nice for you

I have done many nice things for a relative (e.g. reorganize the outdoor deck space) and upon seeing whatever I try & do nice for her she replies "Good for Me!" I find this offensive—am I ...
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2answers
111 views

Résumé: Additional details can be provided (if required / on request)

I'm a freshman applying for internships. I previously had a detailed résumé with appropriate information regarding my projects and areas of expertise. However, I want to tailor it down and keep it as ...
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1answer
253 views

Do “Care to do something” and “Would you care to do something” sound equally polite?

Today on one of other stackexchange sites I've been reached with following comment: "Care to add some references for your claims?". This sounds to me not only formal but a bit rude, so I've ...
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0answers
28 views

Is there a rule regarding the placement of “please” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Both written or spoken? For example: Please have a seat. Have a seat please. And how would the use of commas change the meaning or tone of the request? Are there other options that I've ...
1
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1answer
190 views

Polite Answers to “What else can I do for you? ” [closed]

Suppose that I call a company's call center for help. And near the end of the conversation, the staff asks a question like "what else can I do for you ?". How can I give a polite answer to this sort ...
3
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2answers
605 views

What is happening to “Thank you”?

What is happening to the phrase "Thank you"? Related questions: Is thank you considered formal nowadays? Is thanks used more often? Is there a decline in the usage of the phrase thank you ...
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2answers
91 views

The right word to show honour for president or such dignitaries while addressing them

what is the right word to show honour while addressing president or such dignitaries. Is "respected president" sufficient?
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2answers
2k views

How to respond to someone who says “Pleasure to meet you”, but you don't feel the exact same thing? [closed]

It is not that I hated meeting him, but it wasn't a "pleasure" either. Not because I have some problems with him but because I don't get usually enchanted when meeting someone for the first time. I ...
0
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1answer
77 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
0
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1answer
92 views

Does “No screenshots any more from your phone” sound rude? [closed]

Could native speakers tell the first expression of meaning "No screenshots any more from your phone" Does it sound rude?
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3answers
226 views

Which dialects of English consider “would” to be a polite form of “will”?

My recent trip to India exposed me to many sentences using "would" as a polite substitute for "will", as in Please make sure to leave on time. The last bus would depart at 8PM. Thanks for ...
3
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1answer
97 views

19th C forms of address

In the early 19th C. when the eldest daughter married, did the second oldest daughter become the "Miss Whatever," or did she continue to be identified as "Miss Whoever Whatever?'
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3answers
175 views

Non-vulgar way to express that you “f-word love” something

So I wanted to say that I really love some web service, (I could pretty much say this about stack exchange too!) and I wanted to keep the power of my words, but I have a bad habit of using f-word in ...
0
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1answer
314 views

Best use of wondering if “there was something” or “something was”

I would like to ask whether an object is included in a package or not, which of the following expressions should I use: I was wondering if there was any chassis support in the package? I was ...
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1answer
230 views

Ask politely if there is any fee for a training [closed]

I am attending a training, but they did not mention if it is free or not. How to ask politely if there is any fee for this training?
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7answers
7k views

Asking female employees to come to my room [closed]

I have a few female employees working at my office, and being a manager, I need to text them via Skype or Messenger to come to my room. How can I ask them politely to come? Please come to my room ...
2
votes
1answer
447 views

How to start and end an email politely? [closed]

I'm trying to write an email to professor because I found a mistake on his book. Should I start the email with just "Dear professor, There seems to be some problems in ..." and end the email as "best ...