Questions tagged [politeness]

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

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2 votes
2 answers
16k 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
43k 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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
38k 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
11k 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. ...
  • 115
0 votes
2 answers
4k views

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

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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
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2 votes
6 answers
843 views

When apologising to somebody, using "believe it or not" phrase is rude? [closed]

For example, ...It's so true that my apology is too late but, believe it or not, I've been so burdened with the way to say sorry to you. I just felt uneasy to say that to you because it'd been too ...
6 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
526 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
1k 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
2 answers
3k 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 ...
0 votes
5 answers
810 views

Is it proper to say, "This is my Uncle Archie's current wife."

He is on his 4th wife. Is it proper to say, "This is my Uncle Archie's current wife."
0 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
162 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 ...
22 votes
11 answers
25k 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 ...
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23 votes
13 answers
7k views

Less vulgar alternative to "bee up my butt"

In my corner of the world, the two exressions given in the accepted answer to this question have become conflated. Now, to "have a bee up one's butt" is to have a sudden and obsessive need ...
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2 votes
1 answer
9k views

To indirectly and politely ask about something "I wanted to" vs "I would like to" [closed]

When asking someone for some information indirectly which one is preferable? "I wanted to" e.g. "I wanted to ask your advice on ..." "I would like to" e.g. "I would like to ask about your advice on.....
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-1 votes
2 answers
840 views

Politer way of saying "Your discussion is invalid"

Someone is criticizing my work and they are using arguments that are not correct. I have explained the reasons why their argument is not correct and I want to conclude by saying: because of these ...
  • 189
2 votes
0 answers
8k 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,...
0 votes
4 answers
940 views

Is "fatty" a proper word to use?

The most intuitive word to describe a person rich in fat seems to be fatty. However, I'm not sure whether it's commonly used in a derogatory sense in English. Do I need a more appropriate word instead?...
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-1 votes
3 answers
706 views

What is the proper way of addressing a professor? [closed]

I am a graduate student. Some part of my master thesis requires me to contact a professor from another university. In the first email I addressed him as "Dear Professor Smith". He started his reply ...
2 votes
2 answers
672 views

What is the equivalent of this Arabic expression?

In Arabic, when someone tells you "You look good today," or "Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful," the polite answer is: It is not the flowers. Your eyes are so beautiful everything appears ...
6 votes
1 answer
38k views

How do I ask a waitress to "wrap the rest of the food up" to bring home?

I went to a restaurant for a meal and didn't manage to finish it, so there was some food leftover. How do you politely ask a server/waiter/waitress to wrap the food up? And is the expression "wrap up"...
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20 votes
8 answers
1.6m views

How should I tell someone "I called you but you didn't answer"? without being rude or confrontational? [closed]

We try to reach people on their phones but sometimes they don't answer. Later while addressing them an email or while speaking to them if we want to inform them about the call then what is the best ...
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3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Adding Mr/Ms/Mrs to a signature [closed]

Suppose one has an unusual or foreign name, or a name which traditionally belongs to the other gender. Is it inappropriate to add one's title (i.e. Mr/Ms/Mrs) to the signature of a letter/email so as ...
1 vote
2 answers
63k views

What should I say when people say "thanks a lot" [duplicate]

When I help others, they say "thanks a lot". What should I say to reply to them?
17 votes
6 answers
35k views

Thank thou or Thank thee

How would Shakespeare have said "Thank you"? Can't decide if it is thee or thou, since it isn't really a sentence.
0 votes
2 answers
5k views

I think I believe I feel statements should be introduced properly

In English, a subjective statement or a likewise question is often introduced by either of these phrases: I reckon [that] … – Do you reckon [that] …? (dialectal) I think [that] … – Do you ...
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1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Do you prefix every e-mail in a chain with a greeting? [closed]

Clearly, norms on etiquette dictates that you should prefix an e-mail to someone with "Dear Alice" or "Hi Alice" or something. But when engaging in an e-mail conversation chain, should I prefix EVERY ...
2 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to frame a polite sentence without using "please"? Is it even possible? [closed]

I am just wondering that, are there any alternatives to make a sentence look polite. Instead of using "please". Kindly help me with examples.
1 vote
2 answers
600 views

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences?

Is there any difference in politeness or formality between the following sentences? Please can I borrow your pen? Can I please borrow your pen? Can I borrow your pen, please?
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1 vote
1 answer
608 views

Is "master-slave" polite name for software library? [closed]

I am going to write an opensource software library for web sites developers. With help of this library, web application opened in several tabs will be able to hold connection to server from one "...
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3 votes
3 answers
30k views

How to politely say "I don't know you"?

I received an email from someone I haven't known. It's a letter related to my job, in other words - a business one. How would you write him an answer highlighting that you don't know this person and ...
3 votes
2 answers
4k views

Polite alternatives to “Whatever you say” [closed]

I wish to convey that “I will comply with your request, because I have to, although I am extremely offended that you made such a request.’ in a more concise (or passive aggressive) phrase. How? I am ...
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1 vote
4 answers
2k 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 ...
  • 153
0 votes
2 answers
192 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
5 answers
45k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
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6 votes
10 answers
4k 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
  • 121
1 vote
3 answers
40k views

How to reply when someone says 'you deserve this' [closed]

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
1 answer
670 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
4 answers
1k 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 ...?". Isn't ...
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0 votes
3 answers
2k 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
2 answers
1k 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? ...
  • 1
0 votes
2 answers
880 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 savoir-...
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1 vote
3 answers
2k 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: ...
  • 1,609
13 votes
4 answers
661k 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
6k 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 wasn'...
1 vote
3 answers
79k 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 ...
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