Questions tagged [politeness]

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

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Asking politely for a meeting [migrated]

I would like to politely ask my professor to meet me sometime soon. Could someone please let me know (1) whether my sentences are grammatically correct and also not weird to the ears of a native ...
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1answer
56 views

Phrases to differ respectfully [duplicate]

If I were to disagree with an opinion, how should I write it in a respectful and idiomatic way? Normally I would write; "Tinged with regret, I respectfully disagree." Are there any other ...
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1answer
64 views

I would like you to pay attention

I sent an email including a sentence like, “I would like you to pay attention...” I know the proper usage should be like “I would like to draw your attention” but I am just wondering if the way of ...
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2answers
68 views

How negative is “skip school?” Could a student use it when addressing a teacher, in a neutral sense?

I told my EFL students that in general, "skip school/a lesson/class" has a negative connotation. So, when speaking to a teacher, a student should say "I can't come to class tomorrow&...
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1answer
44 views

Observation: “Take back” is used in impolite speech, while “Bring back” is used in polite speech. Is there any basis to this?

I'm an English teacher working with an advanced student. They asked me to teach them how to ask for help or support when things aren't going they way they should. I decided to teach him that it is ...
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2answers
83 views

The “Polite” Conditional?

If you see him, would you say hello? Would you get us some coffee if they have any? Are these questions, in which the “polite” would is used, conditionals of the first or “mixed” type? Are they, in ...
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1answer
320 views

Is it polite to say “I have a question for you”? [closed]

I'm not a native speaker. I've seen it a lot, but I'm not sure in which situations it's proper. Does it sound like a teacher asking a question to a student? Is it polite to say that if you are asking ...
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55 views

When do you close? vs Until what time are you open?

I have just came across this situation. At I can't get rid of this question what should I say when do you close or until what time are you open? it might sound really silly question, but when you ...
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124 views

'I would be so grateful if…' rude?

I am a high school student and I often use 'I would be so grateful if you could take a moment to...' or 'I would be so grateful if you could help me.' or something like that when I am writing an ...
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1answer
393 views

What is another way of saying “we cannot guarantee”?

1. Summarize the problem I work for an IT solutions provider and we always try to get the customer anything they inquire. We also want to avoid negative connotations with our brand, so we avoid ...
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1answer
42 views

Proper and polite usage of “can you”

In email communication, people often use "can you do X" instead of "please do X". Is this a more polite form, or is this just an idiom which means exactly the same? If I use "...
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41 views

How to ask if someone is doing the same thing as before without using “still” for negative connotations?

"So, X, are you still living in Y?" "So, A, are you still working at B?" For a conversation opener or continuer, is there an alternative way to enquire, interest, about someone ...
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1answer
90 views

Different forms of addressing parents

In my language there is an older form in which you use kinship term in the middle of a sentence, in which normally you would use "you". Here's how this would look translated to English Normal -> "Dad,...
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1answer
38 views

A better way of saying collecting donations

I'm trying to find the nicest and most respectful way of saying: "collecting donations". After research, I've seen: "obtaining donations" or "collecting donations", or "getting donations". In ...
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Is a person using the pronoun “I” uncapitalized considered rude or uneducated? [duplicate]

Like what i am demonstrating here. To be honest i didn't even know about it until much later when i discovered the Grammarly app and i was like "it even exists?". Now it has quite become my bad habit ...
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104 views

stay healthy, safe, sane, sound, strong, well

These days many people have switched to another way of concluding written and oral communication. The ones that I have bumped in so far are stay healthy stay safe stay sane stay sound stay strong ...
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2answers
186 views

Is “they” plural or singular when it's someone's preferred pronoun? [duplicate]

Andy's preferred pronoun is "they". They goes to school in Denver, where they studies philosophy. or Andy's preferred pronoun is "they". They go to school in Denver, where they study philosophy. ...
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0answers
87 views

How to express in an idiomatic and polite way that I'm accepting a suggestion and then adding my own thought? [closed]

Assuming there is a suggestion to my writing, which mostly makes sense, but would make the most sense after I accepting that suggestion and adding my own interpretation/rephrase there. I wonder if ...
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11 views

Why as a subject does the pronoun “I” follow all other pronouns in a list? [duplicate]

Why is this sentence incorrect? I and you can go there. And why is this sentence correct? You and I can go there.
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1answer
628 views

'Would/do you mind' + whether (polite indirect questions)

Swan's 'Practical English Grammar' says: "Yes/no questions are reported with if or whether... whether and if can both introduce indirect questions." e.g: She asked me if/whether she could ...
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1answer
4k views

'I wanted to ask (you) if' vs 'Can I ask (you) if'

I was told recently that the first variant is rude (mainly, because of the word 'wanted'). So I should use the second one. Is it true? Or are both the options okay? Thank you.
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1answer
118 views

Synonym for “turd” [closed]

Is there a countable noun with the exact same meaning as "turd" - a single, formed piece of faecal matter? Giving the reason for this enquiry might illustrate why 'stool' doesn't really work IMO. (1) ...
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1answer
3k views

apologise for or apologise about

Recently I found out some forums asking if "apologise about" is or not correct, but none of them have clear response. Can someone explain if there is any difference between those two terms? It is ...
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1answer
117 views

“Twisting someone's words” expression tone [closed]

Is the sentence "You are twisting his/her words" considered a respectful, polite, or neutral expression? To be clear, I am not asking about the meaning of the expression, nor I am asking a writing ...
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1answer
235 views

Is starting an email with “As I told you on Monday” considered condescending?

Take an email providing a followup on something starting like this: As I told you on Monday, .... Does this generally sound a bit condescending? To me it implies that you are repeating something ...
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1answer
214 views

Master to mister?

Why was Master weakened to Mister so as to address individual hominēs sapientēs and the English language lost the thou/you distinction while the Greek language kept both Kύριος intact and the Eσύ/...
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4answers
2k views

What would be another term for a person in their 50s and 60s other than “boomer” or “Gen-Xer”?

What would be another term for a person in their 50s and 60s other than "boomer" or "Gen-Xer"? People in their late 50s are technically baby-boomers, but "boomers" doesn't quite fit. People in their ...
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2answers
870 views

Is the expression “do not bother” polite?

I have a client who is a public figure in politics. I am working with her on writing some content for social media. I'd like to tell her that she doesn't need to send me 60 quotes, and that 30 is very ...
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1answer
302 views

take so long vs taking so long [closed]

I've worked in a market. Suddenly they stopped my work for verification purpose. They requested me to provide a student ID card. I've sent a scanned copy of my Student ID card for verification. One ...
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6answers
12k views

Is it rude to refer to janitors as 'floor people'?

I came into the office today and the first thing my manager asked me was is if I saw the 'floor people' while I was walking through the building. The reason he asked me this was because he had put in ...
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4answers
434 views

Connotation of “I was led to believe”

TL/DR: Does "I was led to believe" imply "my expectations were betrayed"? Does it have an aggressive connotation? Longer version: I am looking for an internship in a large company installed in ...
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1answer
104 views

Is the word “awful” offensive if used to describe someone's skills? [closed]

I recently read something like: Mr X was able to get the job even though his English is awful. In the above, suppose the background is Mr X landing a job for which good English skills were a ...
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1answer
31k views

Is it correct to write: “I would appreciate it if you could inform me when you could contact my manager” in a formal email? [closed]

I want to know if someone has eventually contacted my manager. I therefore want to send him a formal email to ask him very politely. Is it correct to write as follow ? "I would appreciate it if you ...
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1answer
3k views

Is using “if you would” instead of “if you will” in the sense of “if you wish/want/like” technically “correct”?

I may be wrong here, but I think of the verb "will" as in the set phrase "if you will" as an actual verb, with the rare sense "wish, desire, want", not as a mere future marker. Therefore, in this ...
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1answer
176 views

Pointing out customer's mistake politely in customer support setting [closed]

If someone sends in a support request with a mistake that they clearly made, what would be the polite way to answer? I initially used the term It seems that you have forgotten to fill in this and ...
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2answers
98 views

“Bash her up” – offensive or just an idiom?

My girlfriend and I were having an argument over something that her female friend had said about me, which I found rude and displeasing. My girlfriend responded to my complaint by saying "What do you ...
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1answer
152 views

is this answer rude? [closed]

recently some on in LinkedIn send a message to me: Thank you for connecting with me! I am recruiting for an Android Developer role (multiple levels) for a company whose product mostly likely impacts ...
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1answer
289 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 ...
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0answers
147 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, ...
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1answer
248 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?
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1answer
443 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 ...
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1answer
263 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"
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
74 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 ...
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2answers
313 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
147 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 ...
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1answer
148 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
5k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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?"
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16answers
23k 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 ...

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