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

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2answers
809 views

How to end a resolved support ticket email? [closed]

What is the best way to word an email meant to close a "help desk ticket" submitted via e-mail? For instance, Bob sends an email to Support Team with a problem. After the Support Team solves the ...
-3
votes
1answer
155 views

Shall I Questions [closed]

Shall I find out for you? Shall I open the door for you? Shall I pull these curtains back now? Please, I want to choose one of the following for each question. a) Do you want that I ...
2
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2answers
288 views

Can one say 'hi' to a person older than oneself? [closed]

Would it be appropriate to say 'Hi', for example, to a person at the ticket window who is seemingly much older than yourself? Would it be a different case, say in Australia, where people usually ...
11
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3answers
515 views

“God bless you” equivalent for fart?

In response to someone sneezing there are a few possible phrases you can say as a form of polite acknowledgement: "God bless you" "Gesundheit" And others. But with a fart you laugh, deride ...
-2
votes
3answers
84 views

Enquiry forms on websites [closed]

My university has registered with an online e-book website. But, after downloading an e-book, I was asked for a password. The enquiry that I wrote is: I want to know where can I find passwords for ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

invalid vs handicap vs disabled [closed]

When is it appropriate to describe a person as an invalid versus handicap versus disabled? My friend broke his leg and could hardly do anything physical. I guess invalid would be the most appropriate ...
0
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3answers
28k views

Is it rude to say “Thanks for asking”?

My manager recently asked me "How I was doing? Everything Ok?". I felt happy that he asked me that question, and felt that he was really concerned about me. I was doing good. So I told him that and ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

“Would it be” vs “Will it be”

I was writing an email to my colleague and as part of it I wrote Would it be possible for you to help me with this? I felt a bit awkward after sending the mail. Should it be would or will? I ...
1
vote
2answers
877 views

Two's company; three's a crowd [closed]

Two's company; three's a crowd I have checked here "(Often implies that you want to be alone with the person because you are romantically interested in him or her.)" My question: Could you say that ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I respond to “family emergency”? [closed]

Someone tells me that he is sorry but he has been absent for a family emergency. Can I say "I hope your family is fine"? I wondered if that's polite in English-speaking culture.
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5answers
89k views

“Thank you very much” vs. “Thank you so much”

Some people used to say: Thank you very much. Where others say: Thank you so much. Could anybody please explain what differences there may be between those, whether of correctness or ...
2
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3answers
7k views

Is the expression “having a good time” too personal?

Me and a colleague were jointly writing an email to an English speaking business partner when a discussion arose on how to formulate a sentence. The business partner is currently on vacation, so I ...
17
votes
3answers
11k views

May you please explain this?

At a family dinner, my 18 year-old niece asked my sister, "May you please pass the salt?" My sister said that she was impressed with her daughter's politeness, but that that particular wording was ...
-3
votes
1answer
99 views

Using “tell me” word on callI [closed]

I usually use the "tell me" on calls. For example when I pick up call I like to answer in this way: "Yes John, tell me" Is it a good practice to talk on call in this way?
4
votes
5answers
16k views

“Would” vs. “Will”

Which of the following sentences is correct and why? Please note that I "will" be working on another script this month. Please note that I "would" be working on another script this month. I should ...
1
vote
4answers
706 views

Is “How do you … ?” a polite question to ask the right way to do things? [closed]

Sometimes I feel uncomfortable to say "How do you spell xxx ?". It sounds like asking his or her own way of spelling a word implicating that I am not necessarily expecting the correct answer. Is "How ...
3
votes
4answers
707 views

Is it customary to call the former President George W. Bush “W.”, and Mrs. Bush “Bar”, in public?

Maureen Dowd deals with the comments of the former first lady, Barbara Bush in NBC’s the Today Show in her article titled ‘Silver Fox’s pink slip’ in New York Times (April 27): “Asked on the ...
0
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0answers
49 views

Which form of address in motivation letter? [duplicate]

I am writing a motivation letter for a university in London, and I wanted to know which form of address is common? Dear Sir or Madam To whom it may concern Thanks in advance.
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Telling someone that they are rude [closed]

I happened to tell a co-worker today "I'm sorry to say this, but I think you are being rude by asking me to do XYZ despite me telling you repeatedly that I'm not going to be able to do it". I ...
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6answers
3k views

Polite/professional alternative to 'It turns out'

I have been tasked with coming up with a nicer phrase to use than 'It turns out'. It is to be used in situations like the below: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
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votes
1answer
2k views

Is this a polite way to ask questions? [closed]

I want to send questions to someone, I want to ask you if this way is polite and if there are better ways: I want to ask you questions, your answers would be appreciated I want to ask you ...
4
votes
0answers
20k views

Is 'friendly reminder' a positive word? What is an alternative with a friendly undertone? [closed]

I send reminders to my customers all the time. And, I hesitate to use the word 'friendly reminder'. I interpret it as a soft reminders before aggressive reminders. It brings up an image of a thug ...
2
votes
3answers
437 views

What is a polite way to call something a conspiracy theory?

"Conspiracy" has acquired a negative connotation. [Edit: As pointed out in the comments, it has always had a negative connotation.] If you tell or even insinuate to someone that what they are saying ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Could I address someone by first name in business emails if he/she addresses me by first name?

I am really not sure about when it is appropriate to use someone's first name in business emails. If someone addresses me by my first name, but signs his email officially — full name, plus title, ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “pal” too informal when the other person is much older than me? [closed]

I have an online friend (here on StackExchange) and I happen to know that he is significantly "more experienced", he's a professor while I'm a student, and his contribution here is larger than mine. ...
0
votes
1answer
567 views

What should I say to people when I am passing them by?

I am talking about situations when you want to greet someone, without stopping to talk to them. In Russian, people usually say "добрый день" which means "hello." This is a greeting, not a valediction. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

British term for 'washroom'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Washroom”, “restroom”, “bathroom”, “lavatory”, “toilet” or “toilet room” What is the British equivalent of the American 'washroom'? (Besides 'loo', of course, as it is ...
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3answers
5k views

“You got it” vs. “I got it”

When I watch TV drams or movies, I sometimes come across the expressions “I got it” and “You got it” meaning “I will do as you ask”. I am wondering if there is any semantic or pragmatic differences ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Should personal pronouns always be placed at the end of a list? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My friends and I” vs. “My friends and me” vs. “Me and my friends” Is naming the first person last proper grammar or just proper manners? “Julio and I” vs “I and Julio” ...
3
votes
4answers
9k views

“May I know your good name?” [closed]

"May I know your good name” is a typically Indian way of honouring another person by asking their name using an adjective like sweet, good, beautiful, et cetera. Of course there won’t ever be any bad ...
4
votes
5answers
89k views

Is it correct to say “I kindly request you to…”?

Isn't kindness already implied when you say "I request you to..."? When I say "I humbly request you to...", the word humbly helps me to label the state of my behavior during the request. On the ...
1
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2answers
777 views

Can I ask a practical question like this “how am I supposed to know something”

Lets say I am working on a project with 2 other people and there is some information that I need to work, so Can I ask like this: Can you please tell me "How am I supposed to run this script?". ...
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6answers
5k views

What do students call their teacher in class? [closed]

Well, years ago I was an English teacher in an English Teaching Institute. In the country I live, students call their teachers by saying "Mr. Teacher" or "Teacher" (literally translated) in schools. ...
2
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4answers
3k views

What is the formal way of saying “You have got something wrong”?

Let's say that I am working with my manager; he made some mistake which I have identified, and I want to point that out to him. So is there any polite way of saying "You have got it wrong."? (By the ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? [closed]

My mother tongue, Korean, and its neighbor Japanese have postpositions for expressing honoring the opposite in each sentence when we say to seniors or strangers if these are younger than the speaker. ...
6
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7answers
3k views

Is using the last name of a person without a title an accepted way of addressing?

I always heard people use Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms before people's names and that is how, I thought, it was done until I watched one of those Harry Potter films in which Malfoy (Sr) addresses Albus Dumbledore ...
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2answers
291 views

Present continuous form for a polite question?

Should we use use the present continuous form "would you mind if" to ask a polite question?
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2answers
11k views

polite way to ask someone to be patient? [closed]

I have seen the following line in mail replies from customer care executives - Thanks for your patience They write this when they are not yet ready with a desired solution. They write in the ...
0
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2answers
3k views

What is the courteous alternative of “Do you understand what I say?”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Does it make sense?” or “Do you understand me?”? "Do you get me?", "Do you get my point?", etc? What is the courteous alternative of "Do you understand what I say?"?
5
votes
1answer
879 views

How do words become derogatory or politically incorrect?

I know how words can become racist but I'm not sure how a word becomes derogatory or politically incorrect. If seems as though once one does, a new term is created to replace it that is not derogatory ...
5
votes
4answers
911 views

Bless your heart

Is "bless your heart" something only used by old women in the South (all I've ever heard)? Or is it ever appropriate for a man to use it without seeming unmanly? Does the term always have ...
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votes
9answers
3k views

Is saying “who cares” impolite or rude?

Two people are talking about what tasks should be finished on time, and what tasks should be put off until later. The conversation was like below: A: I don't think those tasks are important. We ...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

Dear Dr. vs Hi vs none in E-mail communication [closed]

I am in contact with the my doctor by email. We exchange about 3 messages per week, today we exchanged 2 messages. Now I have a situation where I think it is a bit silly to write each time Dear Dr. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Condolence message: “I was sorry” vs. “I am sorry”

What is the difference in nuance between the following statements? Which would be more appropriate for a letter of condolence? I was sorry to hear that your mother has passed away. I am sorry ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Meaning of various valedictions or closing expressions

Related to, but I believe distinct from, the following questions: What does the "yours" in "yours sincerely" mean? What are some expressions that can be used to end an email? ...
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5answers
54k views

Popular alternatives to “thank you”

The context for my question might be a bit strange. I have stuttering and therefore I have some difficulties pronouncing some words starting with particular phonetics. And I've found that if a ...
2
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2answers
22k views

Is it wrong to say “I hope this does not inconvenience you in any way”? [closed]

I recently had a dilemma regarding this. While the above sentence sounds okay to my ears, "I hope this does not cause any inconvenience to you" sounds more grammatically correct. Which one is correct? ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

'Sorry, have you got the time, please?'

In this programme from BBC sorry is used in addition to excuse me to get one's attention: Sorry, have you got the time (please)? So I am wondering: 1) Is sorry common for a native speaker to ...
3
votes
7answers
27k views

Is the expression “see you when I see you” impolite? [closed]

Once, I have received feedback that using "see you when I see you" is not very polite. Do you have the same opinion? What other expression should I use in case I have no clue when I will see the ...
3
votes
3answers
376 views

I am afraid I look servile when I say “please” [closed]

In Korea, when I say "please", others think that I am servile. In English, do I look servile when I use "please" in conversation? I want to know the intensity of the word "please" in servility.