Polite Requests

May 26, 2015

Do you ever get annoyed with English people continually saying please, thank you or sorry? It’s important to remember that English is a very polite language which uses a lot of indirect structures. For example, you may have noticed the unusual way that English people make requests. This week, my students have been learning and practising using Polite Requests:

When making a request we often incorporate a modal verb such as can or could (could might be considered a little more formal). REMEMBER: although the sentence is structured like a question, the speaker is not looking for an answer:

  • Can I have the bill, please?”
  • Could you pass me the water, please?”

When you are seeking someone’s attention, remember to use some polite language to begin the conversation:

  • Excuse me, could I ask you…”
  • Sorry to interrupt, but…”

Sometimes you may be seeking permission for something (REMEMBER: “do you mind if…” has a similar meaning to “would it be a problem if…” and thus the response has to reflect this):

  • Do you mind if I leave a bit early today?”
  • Is it alright if I sit here?”

Do you use these structures regularly when you speak English? Are any of them similar to your own language?



Category: Study tips

Add Pingback

Please add a comment

You must be logged in to leave a reply. Login »

 ICE blogger ally_pic.jpg

 Ally

 

 

 

 

Category List


Tag List

grammar tips (1)
english review (1)
Covent Garden (1)
Vocabulary (11)
study tips (9)
Journalism Course London (1)
london events (1)
Shopping in London (4)
Cycling (1)
Learn english online (12)
free english grammar (2)
narrative voice (2)
London (5)
Somewhere to go London (3)
study english onlline (1)
past modal verbs (1)
future tenses efl (1)
London Summer (7)
english school london (12)
Reading in English (1)
Islington Centre for English (6)
Listening in English (2)
english school online (1)
Victoria park (1)
grammar (1)
Peaceful London (2)
things to do london (1)
Journalism evening course London (1)
writing a mini saga (1)
english school (2)
Relaxing London (4)
Fun (1)
silent disco (1)
Journalism Masterclass (1)
english course london (12)
English (1)
future tenses english (1)
Where to visit London (3)
Christmas in London (3)
study english (1)
Barney Ronay (1)
Adjective (2)
Things to see in London (4)
Cool as a cucumber (1)
Free english lessons (10)
past modals (1)
efl (4)
reading tips (1)
Learn English (15)
music festivals uk (1)
english grammar tips (1)
english grammar online (1)
exams (1)
London markets (4)
Hello from Ally (1)
Vocabulary notebook (8)
student study tips (1)
Somewhere to visit London (1)
Places to see in London (4)
Insider info London (14)
Beautiful London (8)
Idiom (3)
english courses london (1)
English food (3)
Journalism classes London (1)
the people's tower (1)
English vocabulary (3)
music festival London (1)
Cambridge Exam Preparation (1)
New blog (1)
Students (2)
ILEC (1)
Somewhere to visit (9)
Recording vocabulary (3)
World Naked Bike Ride (1)
Tweed (1)
ICE (5)
Events in London (1)
Halloween (2)
the shard (1)
Journalist Course London (1)
Winter in London (6)
writing a mini-saga (1)
Things to do in London (6)
Basic English mistakes (1)
FCE (4)
defining relative clauses (1)
Historic moment (1)
english grammar help (1)
mini-saga (1)
Social programme (1)
Sport Journalism Course (1)
Attractions in London (1)
New language (7)
saga (1)
making predictions (1)
english as a foreign language (3)
Business English (1)
CAE (3)
London Marathon (1)
english study tips (1)
Improve your vocabulary (5)
Learning tips (10)
Tourist tips (5)
English grammar (4)
Polite questions (1)
pronuciation (3)
spelling (1)
English tips (4)
Francais (2)
New vocabulary (4)
Field day (1)
IELTS (2)

Tag Cloud

grammar tipsPolite questionsIELTSgrammarsagaSomewhere to visitstudy englishEnglish tipsEnglish grammarenglish study tipsAttractions in Londonstudy english onllineCambridge Exam PreparationLondonVocabulary notebooksilent discoVocabularyBusiness Englishpronuciationfuture tenses englishCovent GardenNew blogThings to see in LondonJournalism Course LondonTourist tipsenglish courses londonspellingNew vocabularySocial programmeListening in Englishenglish schoolCAEenglish course londonWinter in LondonLearn EnglishWorld Naked Bike RideSomewhere to go Londonreading tipsPeaceful LondonCool as a cucumberImprove your vocabularyFree english lessonsLondon MarathonWhere to visit LondonBeautiful LondonILECEnglishmusic festivals ukenglish grammar helpexamsEnglish vocabularypast modal verbsRecording vocabularyIdiomVictoria parkBasic English mistakesmusic festival Londonwriting a mini sagaInsider info LondonFCEFunHello from Allypast modalseflenglish as a foreign languageSomewhere to visit LondonSport Journalism CourseLondon marketsJournalist Course LondonEvents in LondonField dayFrancaisBarney RonayHistoric momentmini-sagaPlaces to see in LondonCyclingStudentsReading in Englishenglish grammar tipslondon eventsenglish school londonShopping in LondonAdjectiveRelaxing LondonIslington Centre for EnglishLearn english onlineenglish school onlineEnglish foodenglish reviewfree english grammarChristmas in LondonJournalism Masterclassmaking predictionsJournalism classes Londonwriting a mini-sagathe people's towerfuture tenses eflICEThings to do in LondonJournalism evening course LondonHalloweenthings to do londonstudent study tipsthe shardstudy tipsNew languageLearning tipsdefining relative clausesLondon Summerenglish grammar onlinenarrative voiceTweed


Archive