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

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3answers
105 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 family ...
9
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1answer
11k views

Politely asking “Why is this taking so long??”

I am trying to write a business email and, as English is not my first language, I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with a really polite way of saying the following: Hi, It's been a week since I ...
26
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17answers
43k views

Polite synonyms for “a——hole-ish” behavior

Are there any polite synonyms for asshole-ish behavior? A good synonym would probably have about the same impact and wouldn't send people looking for their dictionaries.
0
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2answers
38 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 ...
7
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5answers
705 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 ...
37
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6answers
69k views

When do I use “can” or “could”?

When should I use can? When should I use could? What is right under what context?
8
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8answers
1k views

A polite substitution for “lamer”

Is there a polite word that can be used to designate someone who didn't really understand what he or she was doing? Or, in general, someone who is intentionally ignorant of how things work. A "lamer" ...
35
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13answers
154k views

More formal way of saying: “Sorry to bug you again about this, but …”

I was wondering if there was a more formal and polite way of saying: Sorry to bug you again about this, but we still have not received a response about X .... (if we still have not received any ...
3
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3answers
136 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 ...
1
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2answers
193 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 ...
0
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1answer
63 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 ...
5
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3answers
197 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 ...
3
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7answers
2k views

Should one ever use the word “please” in an order or demand?

A police officer who pulls over a driver might ask to see his “license and registration, please.” Similarly, a border official might ask for a “passport, please.” However, in these situations, the ...
1
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0answers
62 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"?
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
1
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2answers
87 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 ...
-1
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4answers
76 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 ...
0
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1answer
76 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 ...
7
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1answer
285 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 ...
0
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6answers
43k views

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

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?
4
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4answers
3k 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
85 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 ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?

I am not sure whether the best form when speaking of my spouse in everyday English is "the wife" or "my wife". I commonly read "the wife" (or "the girlfriend") in reference to the author's ...
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2answers
62k views

Is “nice to meet you” an appropriate online salutation?

When one makes a new acquaintance with somebody in person, you may say "it was nice to meet you", e.g. when you leave. What if you make a new acquaintance over the internet, what do you say when you ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Are the expressions “pissed” and “pissed off” inappropriate?

I've seen people go quiet when they hear one of them. I also remember hearing it bleeped on television. Are they inappropriate? To what extent? What audience could or should not hear it?
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9answers
87k views

What is the meaning of “I am humbled”?

From a recent article on CNN: Aboukhadijeh, who is from Sacramento, California, said he's been blown away by how quickly his tool went viral and is grateful for all the supportive feedback. ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it always appropriate to reciprocate when asked “How are you?” [closed]

This question is related to When someone asks how are you, are you supposed to answer, "Good," or "Fine," and ask back?. There, the answer by z7sg Ѫ claims it is sometimes appropriate not to ...
9
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5answers
4k views

Is “not at all” still alive and doing well?

I was taught to use "not at all" as a rather polite, standard reply to "thank you". However, I don't see it being used at all nowadays. Can I still use it? Would it be widely understood? Should I be ...
0
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1answer
58 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?
1
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2answers
61 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 ...
2
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1answer
141 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 ...
2
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6answers
12k 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? ...
9
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3answers
11k views

Can “Sure” be used to respond to “Thanks”?

I often hear "Sure" in response when I say "Thank you" or "Thanks" to someone. I don't know — is this correct usage? If it is considered good, I'll use it someday.
7
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2answers
4k views

Ending a note with “Thanks regardless”?

While wanting to properly close a question and thank its participants on one of StackExchange's other sites–the question had resolved itself–I started wondering if "Thanks regardless" is a proper way ...
0
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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 ...
5
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2answers
8k views

Is thanks a countable noun? Many thanks or much thanks?

A colleague of mine recently wrote in an email "much thanks for your efforts." Does this usage make sense? How does "much thanks" differ from "many thanks"? This is similar to "Is “Many thanks” a ...
3
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2answers
554 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 ...
1
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1answer
139 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
71 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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7answers
10k views

Is “IMHO” a rude thing to say (or type)?

The initialism1 IMHO stands for "in my humble opinion". It's commonly used in text-based communication (chat clients, forums, popular Q&A platforms). Here's an example: Person A: What do you ...
2
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5answers
668 views

Is there a politically correct term for illiterate people?

The question says it all. What is the standard, compassionate/politically-correct term for those who lack a literacy education? I'm looking for something a little higher in register and more accurate ...
0
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2answers
1k 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 ...
46
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19answers
6k views

Alternative expression for “xyz Nazi”

I'm not a native English speaker, but I do understand and personally appreciate the use of the term "xyz Nazi" to say that someone is a bit dogmatic about their point of view, without necessarily ...
0
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1answer
63 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 ...
2
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4answers
13k views

Is it right to say “Thank you” in the response of “Thank you”?

When two persons help each other and one said "thank you" then is it right to say "Thank you" in the response.
0
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1answer
85 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?
7
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7answers
9k views

Is “grammar nazi” politically correct?

I'm not a native English speaker and I'm puzzled where the use of grammar nazi would be appropriate. I have seen it numerous times around the SE network and was wondering when the use would be ...
5
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5answers
29k 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 ...