Before posting a question, "May I ask..." seems would make it more politely. I wonder what are the alternatives for that phrase? Seems "Pray, .." also do, but that sounds a bit Jane Austin?

  • 1
    Maybe "Excuse me, but could I..."? – Dog Lover Jun 25 '15 at 2:14
  • @DogLover Seems reasonable as an answer to me. – dwjohnston Jun 25 '15 at 2:21

Really, there are very few. The best alternative would probably be:

Excuse me, but could I...?

Or maybe:

..., if you don't mind me asking?

In context:

'Excuse me, but could I please have your date of birth?'

'What kind of car do you drive, if you don't mind me asking?'

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