Do respect have respect, the way to respect others and keeping good relations with listener or reader is all about politeness. Whenever you are polite in your conversation it means you respect others and you want to be soft not direct and forceful. Moreover, everyone likes courteous conversation, so you must learn some soft expressions and words in English and use it in your conversation.
There are many ways in which we can show that we value and respect others, here we will look at some soft expressions and words in English.
Soft Expressions and Words in English
To ask something from someone in a polite way, we can use soft expressions and words in English like: Please, could you please, would you please, can you and would you mind for certain polite requests.
Consider the sentences below when you request politely and when you ask direct something, how awkward it looks.
Bank: Fill in this form. ( Asking directly)
- Could you please fill in this form? (Polite request)
- Would you please fill in this form? (Polite request)
- Can you fill in this form? (Polite request)
- Would you mind filling this form? (Polite request)
Restaurant: Bring us some water.
- Would you bring us some water, please?
- Please bring us some water.
Call Center: Give me you name.
- Could you please give me you phone number?
- Would you give me your name, please?
Office: Send them an email.
- Would you mind sending them an email?
- Could you please send them an email?
Hotel: Send me some towels.
- Could you please send me some towels?
- Please send me some towels.
Phone: Speak a little louder.
- Would you mind speaking a little louder?
Home: Turn off the TV.
- Could you please turn of the TV?
Class: Switch off your cell phone.
- Would you pleas switch off your cell phone?
One of the most common word for politeness in English is Please, we use it to make a request more polite and it can come in front position, mid position and end of a sentence.
Using please in the end of a sentence is very common in polite request. .
- Could you say that again, please?
- Would you say that again, please?
- Two coffee, please.
Please in front position can make the request sound stronger, like an order.
- Please could you do that again?
- Please can I leave early today, Sir?
- Please I don’t understand what I have to do?
Please in mid position makes the request stronger. In this position please is often stressed.
- Could you please say that again?
- Can we please Change the subject?
- Children please I am trying to work.
Note: Remember putting a comma before or after please in your sentence in written form shows pause or stress in your request.
How to ask something in polite way?
There are different ways we can ask something from someone in polite way, we can use the words like: can, could, would you mind, if and may to ask something from someone.
- Can I have the salt? Of course, here you are.
- Could I ask you the time, please? No problem. It’s quarter past four.
- Would you mind if I borrowed your pen, please? Of course, here you are.
- May I have the bill, please? (May is more formal.) Certainly, Madam.
How to use would you mind for politeness?
Be careful when using ‘would you mind’ for ask something something politely.
When we it with ‘if’ to talk about the present we use past tense following the subject.
If + somebody + 2nd form of verb + something.
- Would you mind if I used your computer now?
- Would you mind if i borrowed your motorcycle tonight?
When we don’t mention the subject we use: would you mind + verb + ing.
- Would you mind closing the door?
- Would you mind turning of the TV?
To mention somebody else in your sentence, use would you mind + somebody’s + verb + ing.
- Would you mind Ali is playing with us in the final?
- Would you mind my friends are coming in to the class today?
Answer to “would you mind”.
No, not at all.
Of course not.
No, go on please.
Yes, I would.
Note: Sometimes we use past forms in questions, invitations and requests in the present, it refers to present. We do so as to sound more polite.
- Did you want another coffee?
- I thought you might like some help.
- We were rather hoping that you would stay with us.
- Did you need any help, madam?
How to use if for politeness?
In speaking we can use if followed by will, would, can or could to introduce a polite request.
- If we can play the march in the coming week. (more polite than Can we play the match …)
- If I could just say one more thing … (more polite than Listen to me, I want to say something.)
- If you will follow me, please. (more polite than Follow me, please.)
- If you don’t mind, I think I need that cup of tea.
I was hoping you/I could … I was hoping you could work this Saturday. I was hoping I could take Friday off
I was wondering if you/I could…. I was wondering if you could cover my shift on Monday.
Three expressions to thank you.
- You’re welcome = basic
- My pleasure = when you were happy doing something.
- Don’t mention it = informal
Expressions for apologizing
- Pardon me: When you bump into someone or need to get someone’s attention.
- Excuse me: When you want to ask for information.
- I’m sorry to: When you want to ask for information and this is more polite than “pardon me” and “excuse me”.
- I’m sorry: Use this when you have done a mistake.
Politeness is the key to keep good relations and terms with people, moreover it looks charming when we talk in polite way with someone. Hope so on you will use those soft expressions and words in English in your daily conversation.