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Questions tagged [politeness]

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

0
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1answer
123 views

Is it rude to say 'You're actually cute for a person'? [closed]

You're actually cute for a person elitedaily says it is rude to say so. Well, I never heard someone say it. When someone says that you are pretty, or that you are cute, is it rude or is it a ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Which of “Will you just go?” or “Can you just go?” works better? [migrated]

One of my stu­dents barged into my class­room one day and was get­ting on my nerves be­cause I needed to clean up the mess he had him­self made ear­lier, so I wanted to ask him to leave me alone and ...
2
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0answers
60 views

Is it okay to say “Excuse me, Ms.” to get attention from strangers who are women? [closed]

I was wondering that above sentence on title, “Excuse me, Ms.” is rude or not. I’ve watched a video on youtube about English titles, but “Excuse me lady.” is very rude to get attention from women, ...
0
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1answer
54 views

What should I say when my friend will have a new baby soon? [closed]

As titled. There are a ton of examples to congratulate newborns, however, is there anything similar before the birth of a new baby?
1
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1answer
47 views

How can I express that I have completed task given somebody in polite manner?

Somebody asked me to rebase my github repository with his repository and I did it as per his/her request. How can I express it in polite manner? Some sentences running in my mind are: I did rebase ...
0
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1answer
66 views

“to whom it may offend” vs. “to whom I may offend” [closed]

In my opening speech, is it right if I say I apologize to whom it may offend" or "I apologize to whom I may offend"
0
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1answer
163 views

“Could you please deal with it” sounds rude

My friend with a C2 in English says that "Could you please deal with it" sounds rude and it is better to use "Could you please take a look at it" or "Could you please fix it" because that's more ...
1
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1answer
63 views

Proper way to refer to someone that previously held an official title, but is no longer in said title

I’m trying to figure out the best way to refer to someone in a resume. I once received an award from former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld when he was still the Secretary of Defense. I use this ...
2
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2answers
140 views

Elon Musk’s “thanks for being awesome”

In a recent open letter to “everybody”, famous visionary entrepreneur Elon Musk uses the closing statement “Thanks for being awesome” (emphasis mine): From: Elon Musk To: Everybody Subj. ...
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2answers
68 views

Does one party involved in the action of “introducing someone to someone else” have a higher authority?

When you use the sentences such as "Kate introduced Joe to Ellen", "My former colleague introduced me to his boss", "My brother introduced them to me", is there one side of the introduction that has a ...
0
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1answer
94 views

How to properly refer to a person who had changed their name in the past tense?

A person changed her name from A to B. "My 6th grade English teacher was A" sounds right, but when I alter the sentence structure to "B was my 6th grade English teacher" it sounds right. These are ...
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2answers
871 views

Hi, Hello, Dear in answer to client’s Hi

We’re are a small atelier on Etsy and usually get questions from clients starting with Hi, Hi Roman (they sometimes see my name before composing a question) or Hey there. What would be the safest way ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Using “Would you like” vs “Do you want” between friends

Does it sound normal or overly polite to use "Would you like" between friends, for example "Hey Bob, would you like to play chess with me?"
56
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16answers
17k views

“Can I” vs “May I” in restaurant setting when ordering

A while back, while we were getting fast food, my friend commented on my usage of "can" versus "may" when asking to take my order. I said: Can I have a ....... and my friend argued you're ...
0
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1answer
223 views

Is it impolite to say hello to a doctor as “Hi, First Name”? [closed]

I'm based in Canada and I'm not a native English speaker. Is it impolite to call doctors and dentists by their first name instead of "Dr. Last Name" when answering a phone call?
1
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1answer
49 views

First names or surnames?

Writing out an interview with two Americans, in US English. It's an interview with 'brothers and sisters in the field' of medicine, semi-scientific, slightly formal but in a friendly kind of way. So ...
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0answers
57 views

“Osteoarthritis patients” vs “people with osteoarthritis”

In the scientific literature, I've seen two different preferences to refer to "people who have disease X". For example: Osteoarthritis patients People with osteoarthritis What are the actual ...
2
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2answers
96 views

'Do' as a one-word short answer

Example: - It's stuffy in here. Shall I open the window? + Do. Example: - Do you mind if I look at your paper? + No, please do. What is the grammar behind this structure? When can it be used?
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0answers
2k views

Is “keep my fingers crossed for you” polite or impolite?

Email is critical to business today. I'd like to write business email. Is "keep my fingers crossed for you" polite or impolite? ex:) I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Good luck to you.
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1answer
94 views

Email: addressing the users in CC [closed]

I am in a corporate setting, replying to an email from company's client. The email contains multiple participants in CC. I've never spoken to the client nor to anyone in CC. Is it normal to start my ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

Should she have said that I stole the drink?

I'm Japanese and I live in US now. I can speak English a little. Today I went to a cafe and I mistook taking someone's drink. (I already purchased, and it was same matcha). A staff realized that and ...
0
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1answer
143 views

Was I being impolite using this phrase “Add our John Doe in the copy :)” at the end of a business conversation? [closed]

Some context: English is not my native language and I had a chat with my colleague from a remote location. She asked my team lead to add two users in some system and since the team lead was off the ...
1
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1answer
95 views

Global socially acceptable way of acknowledging that I'm being a “pedantic w****r”?

I'm Australian and would not hesitate to call myself a "pedantic wanker" in public (because, well... I often am!). There is a very small chance that someone (most likely elderly or particularly ...
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4answers
3k views

“Take care, sir!” - how formal/informal is “take care” in the meaning of “goodbye”?

According to oxforddictionaries (and also e.g. What does "Take care sweets" mean?), take care used at the end of a conversation has the meaning of goodbye: Said to someone on leaving them....
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1answer
3k views

“Yes sir” usage [closed]

I have heard "Yes, sir." used by a client or by the older participant in a conversation and it seems to me that this goes against the common usage. What is the connotation of "Yes, sir." in a ...
1
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0answers
96 views

Is it polite to ask someone if they're “on track” with something? [closed]

Today I received a colleague's feedback saying that my email's expression was overly harsh. This was the expression which caused the confusion. "... Are you on track with this? ..." For my ears ...
0
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1answer
144 views

Shoud I use a new line after Hi (someone's name) in e-mail? [closed]

In an e-mail, suppose we start with Hi John. Should I follow with Hi John, some content (i) or Hi John, some content (ii) Is there any etiquette behind choice (i) vs (ii)?
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0answers
4k views

How to write an email to a police officer? [closed]

So, a family member got into a car accident. The police officer told me to notify her where our car will be towed. She gave me her office number and email. But she's out on dispatch. I was told it's ...
-2
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1answer
1k views

How informal is “I am fond of”? [closed]

As said in the title how informal is "I am fond of", can I start a cold-email to a design studio like I am fond of your works or designs?
3
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2answers
3k views

Polite alternative to “I don't give a damn about etc.”?

I need a strong statement of rejection of a concept, thing or practice, that means X doesn't give a good goddamn about etc., or X doesn't give a flying f___ about etc. but with no vulgar words so ...
3
votes
1answer
415 views

How to say no politely and friendly to recommendations from waiters/staffs at a restaurant/cafe? [closed]

I am not a native English speaker and have a question about alternative expressions for "no thank you" especially in a Cafe/restaurant. When I order something over a counter or at a table, sometimes ...
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2answers
364 views

Saying condolences if relative is hospitalised?

Is it offensive to say 'condolences' to people with a relative who is hospitalised? Please explain answer and provide sources.
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1answer
194 views

polite tag in questions : for me?

in the question "What's your last name for me?" asked by a clerk for a registration, does the prepositional for me soften it? 00:12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFjrerZ-EWo
2
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1answer
6k views

How to tell customer that you have a tight schedule without sounding rude? [closed]

I would like to explain a customer that during the next two months we will be very busy with a tight schedule, but I don't want to sound rude or put him in a rush, as I only have certain day available ...
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2answers
11k views

“Could you please answer this question” [closed]

In email correspondence with my team I use the wording and punctuation: Could you please handle this. As a polite form of: Please handle this. To be clear, it is an assignment, this is not a ...
1
vote
1answer
431 views

How to politely restate instructions [closed]

What is a better way to say "and again" when you are repeating instructions to someone? When you just went over how to process something and the client doesn't seem to get it. You start to tell them ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

How to politely tell my personal tutor that I'm going to give her the tutoring fee?

What I'm looking for is the most polite way to tell my personal tutor that I'm going to give her money without her feeling that she's selling something and I'm buying it. To put it another way, I'm ...
49
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6answers
32k views

What is wrong with saying “pleased to meet you”?

I read an article1 in The Telegraph, where it mentions that the phrase "pleased to meet you" was used inappropriately. When I was little, my mother collected me from a school friend’s party. As I ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it rude to ask questions ending with 'or not'? [closed]

I'm not a native speaking English person. I asked questions like this "You want a drink of water, or not?" "You want to have a pizza, or not?' Then I was criticized by a native English speaker who ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Polite word or short phrase that means “this isn't a high enough priority for us to work on now”

I'm not looking for a technical term, but a more polite way of saying that the user's request is a lower priority and we may or may not get to it once higher priority issues are cleared out. The ...
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0answers
413 views

I dedicate this thesis to my late grandfather, James Smith Sr

Good day to all, my grandfather had a full and long life, so I am happy for him. I would like to dedicate my thesis to him, and I was wondering whether the following construction is appropriate: I ...
4
votes
1answer
415 views

Is there a way to determine how offensive a word is? [closed]

Outside of slang, I'm looking for a list of words that have been co-opted by society to mean something derogatory. In some senses, they are also "trigger words" and phrases. The word cult, for ...
1
vote
1answer
506 views

Asking a small group of two or more people a personal question? [closed]

So, I visit casual group chats regularly, both in person and over internet messaging, and often a question is asked, "How is everyone doing?" Or, something along those lines. Now, this all seems ...
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3answers
414 views

Is “you can't have it both ways” impolite? What's a polite alternative?

When I've said "you can't have it both ways" to my boss, and my former professor, they reacted negatively. This leads me to wonder if this phrase is considered impolite. Is it? If so, what's a polite ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How does one address a former UK Prime Minister in a letter? [closed]

More specifically, does the title "The Right Honourable" apply to former PMs as well? Is "Your/Her/His Excellency" used at all? I'm finding several references for how to address current PMs, but I'm ...
6
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6answers
932 views

Polite/technical way to say “user ineptitude”?

Here's the deal, I work in tech support, I've to fill reports on what is the most common problems and what caused it... Sometimes, I get requests from users who lack basic computer knowledge, which ...
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0answers
145 views

What reply should be given after my resignation is accepted? [closed]

I am a bit confused about how I should reply after my resignation has been accepted. Following this message, which I got from HR, how should I respond? Dear Umer, This is to confirm acceptance ...
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0answers
787 views

How to write an email to a librarian to check availability of the books in a formal and polite way? [closed]

The library is in England. I'm learning English and want to obtain a grant to visit this library, that's why I need a letter from a librarian stating that the materials I'm looking for are available. ...
2
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3answers
11k views

What expressions should I use to reply “sorry to be a pain, but …” courteously

Last week, my colleague asked me to help on something, he said, “Sorry to be a pain, I just hoping to get it done shortly”. Actually, it didn’t bother me at all and it is a part of my job. Is there a ...
0
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1answer
274 views

How should I address this professor in the US?

Realted to this question How should I address a professor in the US? I have a question how to adress the professor in the US in my concrete situation. In the last E-Mails I wrote "Dear professor ..." ...