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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

0
votes
0answers
36 views

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.
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
714 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 ...
0
votes
5answers
85 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 ...
-1
votes
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 ...
0
votes
4answers
67 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 ...?". ...
0
votes
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? ...
3
votes
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?'
2
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
9
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
5
votes
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
votes
4answers
15k 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.
6
votes
6answers
3k views

What is the “superlative” way of expressing “thank you”

On rare occasions, you are in a situation where a simple Thank You seems like you're undermining the other person's help. You know, instances where you are too grateful to express your feelings of ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
vote
6answers
6k 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 this one: 'It turns out' that we cannot... 'It turns out' that we ...
12
votes
6answers
940 views

Will some parents be offended when being asked, “Is it male or female?”

If I ask the parent about a baby's gender, will it be impolite or not appropriate to say, "Is it male or female?" Is there any subtle difference, in terms of politeness, among "Is it a boy or ...
2
votes
6answers
894 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
votes
2answers
191 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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?
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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: ...
0
votes
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
7k 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? ...
0
votes
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 ...
7
votes
9answers
4k views

Is saying 'who cares' rude or maybe even disrespectful?

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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
27
votes
17answers
47k 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
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
38
votes
6answers
76k 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
votes
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
votes
13answers
167k 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
7answers
3k 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
vote
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"?
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
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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
-1
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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 ...
0
votes
6answers
58k 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
votes
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.
-1
votes
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 ...