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

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1
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6answers
2k views

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

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...
5
votes
10answers
795 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How important is the word “Please” when asking for something? [closed]

How important is this word 'please' when asking someone you don't know for something? If you have already said "excuse me" is it still necessary? Is it more important than 'Thank you'? I have heard ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

“Could you Please provide me the details…”? [closed]

When we write a business email and want some information from the mail recipient, then which is the most professional way to ask for information. Does using "Please" in a sentence makes it look bad?
27
votes
17answers
67k 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.
13
votes
22answers
7k 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
3answers
51 views

When should I end online comments with a period?

I'm wondering what the rule is for when you post comments online. Here are some examples: Yeah, I totally agree Terrible Nice picture I wouldn't do that myself Would I end these with a period? Or ...
1
vote
2answers
14k views

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

I started work as a receptionist and must greet people that come and go. Please let me know what I should say when it is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say "Bye, have a nice afternoon" or "...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

The deal between “Mary and me” vs. “Mary and I” [closed]

I think "Mary and me," even though it sounds odd to the ear, is correct, but my choice is between: "I've forgotten everything about the deal between Mary and me" and "I've forgotten everything about ...
2
votes
4answers
725 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can “No thanks” be used in place of “No need to say thanks”?

A colleague did some work for me (which was his job anyway) and when I said thanks, he said "no thanks". I was puzzled, and asked why he said that. He told me that an American once told him that ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Polite way to correct someone who called you the wrong name [closed]

I am often called by my brother's name when I am greeted by someone whom I do not see on a regular basis (as anyone with siblings who look like them can sympathize). These are normally people who only ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Talking over the phone for the first time [closed]

I will have an interview in English over the phone, and I am preparing for it. What I'm wondering is what will be the best way to greet the interviewer? "Hell, my name is ______. It is nice to talk to ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

How polite is “all” as an email address? [closed]

I work in a Dutch international company, with English being the official language. I often see my colleagues starting an email with plain "all" as in: All, Attached the agenda for the meeting ...
-1
votes
2answers
371 views

How to say thank you to a friend who agreed to take care of my pet? [closed]

I have been preparing to IELTS test and currently I need to write a thank you letter to my friend, because she agreed to take care of my pet. So I've come up with this: Thank you so much for ...
1
vote
3answers
100 views

“Pardon” vs “Please can you repeat that”? [closed]

In a client/business conference call , when you do not hear, what the speaker was saying or the message was unclear due to noise disturbance, what is the professional way to say it:- Pardon Could ...
8
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
9answers
10k views

Is “Can I have a cup of coffee?” polite? [closed]

Is "Can I have a cup of coffee?" polite? What if I ask a store employee, "Can I have something?"
2
votes
2answers
97 views

polite questions vs. direct questions: real life reactions [closed]

In English courses (especially business), we learn to use polite questions. So we know that you shouldn't say "excuse me... where's the nearest supermarket, please?" but rather "excuse me... do you ...
21
votes
11answers
23k views

Is “Yankee” derogatory?

I have heard of the term "Yankee" often referring to people in the Northern U.S. by Southerners. My question is: is this term considered derogatory or offensive and should it be avoided in workplace ...
0
votes
0answers
84 views

Best wishes/Good luck …? - [to encourage to proceed trying]

Suppose, someone is working on a long and tedious task (learning English seems not quite fitting, I think, it's too...continuous; I just stumbled upon this question in the context of learning physics (...
13
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

What's another way of saying “to hell with it”? [closed]

How do you express displeasure and disregard over something (e.g. To hell with that new policy _____'s office has come up with! I'm going to do whatever the hell I want) without sounding crude? I am ...
-1
votes
1answer
98 views

“Kindly” vs “Please” : Which is better in official emails? [closed]

Consider the below sentences:- 1. Kindly review the document and let me know if I need to change something. 2. Please review the document and let me know if I need to change something. 3. Could you ...
92
votes
10answers
81k views

Can “thanks in advance” be considered rude?

Some argue that because “thanks in advance” is written before any help has been offered, it adds an expectation of help and thus can be considered presumptuous. Is this reasonable? Would it be ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Should we use the word “Actually” before a sentence? [closed]

Someone asked to me about some particular information. I replied to the email like this:- Hi, "Actually I was assigned the following task by my Manager"........ Is it grammatically correct to start ...
21
votes
3answers
35k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “doesn't count for squat” an impolite phrase?

I recently used the phrase "doesn't count for squat" (meaning worthless) in a StackExchange comment, and then wondered if I was being impolite. I considered if "squat" was just a euphemism for "shit",...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is addressing a guy as “guy” rude?

Non-native here, is addressing a guy as just "guy" considered rude? Like, while addressing a pet-store clerk: "Hey, guy, how many mice will $13 buy?" Also, how long has it been in use?
8
votes
7answers
14k views

Response to “God Bless” when parting company

What should the correct response be (from someone not overtly religious) if someone says "God bless" when parting company? "Bye now" or "Bye" doesn't seem an adequate response.
0
votes
1answer
700 views

Does it sound good to write “With best compliments from” in an invitation? [closed]

Again it's somewhat similar to my previous question, but I need to know it too. I am preparing contents for a wedding card, I have little doubt in writing With best compliments from as the last line ...
3
votes
8answers
4k 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
3answers
236 views

Is it correct to write “Awaiting to welcome you” in invitation? [closed]

I am preparing contents for a wedding card, I have little doubt in writing Awaiting to welcome you as the last line of the invitation. Is it okay to write it? or will you please tell me a good line ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Order of placing Mr. and Mrs. in a wedding card [closed]

I am designing a wedding card, I need to know how to start it, these are some samples: Mrs. & Mr. Xyz invite you.... Mr. & Mrs. Xyz invite you.... Mrs. Abc & Mr. Xyz invite you.... Mr. ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Can I say “help myself to” when I'm being offered something? [closed]

Background I was travelling with my clients( from US/Canada) when one of them graciously offered me a portion of Lindt bar. Since I wasn't sure what a polite response would be to a native speaker, I ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What is the correct way to ask 'Do you know what I mean?' after you attempt to explain a thought?

I have recently started graduate school and a fellow student asks 'Do you know what I mean?' after nearly every statement they make. I find it excruciatingly annoying, but I soon realized that I do ...
2
votes
8answers
34k 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? ...
50
votes
20answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
22k views

What is a less offensive synonym for “hypocrite”?

Is there a word that describe a person who doesn't "practice what they preach"? Basically, is there a synonym for "hypocrite" that carries less pejorative connotations? For example, let's say a ...
12
votes
5answers
870 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

Beg to differ - Why is there a need to beg for differ

Wouldn't 'Wish to differ' be better than 'Beg to differ'? A friend of mine asked me why I like to 'beg to differ', instead of 'wish to differ' or 'want to differ'. Any insight on the history of 'Beg ...
6
votes
2answers
124 views

What is the proper response to “Excuse my language”?

What is the proper response to "Excuse my language"? I don't want to say "not a problem", because honestly, it is a problem. However, I can't think of any other appropriate response. I'm looking ...
0
votes
3answers
90 views

Is “not very” considered polite? [closed]

I've heard that if you want to describe something in a negative way but polity, use "not very" + "negative" adj. For example, describing a bad thing would be: This is not very good. Or talking ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Are these things rude? [duplicate]

Ok, I know I already asked this stuff but I thought that I should've organized it. So here it goes. By the way, quick shout out to people who answered my original question. I guess it was off-topic ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Is it rude to say commands or imperatives without saying please? [closed]

I've been wondering that for a long time. And if it is rude, then why does everyone say commands/imperatives without saying please? I personally phrase them into questions, or say "you have to","you ...
2
votes
0answers
152 views

Can “keep up the good work” be used for praising a co-worker? [closed]

Is "keep up the good work" a polite thing to say to your co-workers? I'm under impression that only someone from higher position has the privilege to say this. When replying the emails to a co-worker,...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

The Kids are All Right

As I was reading some of the responses on Should I use “the wife” or “my wife”?, I agreed with many of the posters stating that using the wife as opposed to my wife was slightly less personal and ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

How to request to be addressed by one's title and surname [closed]

I am wondering if anyone might have a suggestion about how to request to be addressed by a personal title and one's surname. For example, I prefer to be addressed as, "Mr. Redgate," but I do not wish ...
7
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it okay to use the word “Negro” in a historical context? [closed]

In a few days, I have to do a class presentation project about the 1920s Harlem Renaissance. I want to say that the movement's original name was the "New Negro Movement," but I'm not sure if that's ...