Words of Courtesy When Making Requests

In every language there are words of courtesy. Courtesy helps people connect and creates a more peaceful communicative environment. Furthermore, have you ever noticed that people just seem to respond better when we are courteous with them? Courtesy when making requests in English depends a lot on your word choices.

For example, if you say:

Give me the pen over there

It is direct and considered rude.

But, if you say:

Would you mind handing me that pen over there

It is considered polite.

Sometimes, when we learn a new language, we tend to pick up the direct speech but neglect the courteous speech. So, let's review a few expressions that will help us sound more courteous when we make requests using English.

EXAMPLES

Would you mind...

Could I ask...

Can I trouble you...

IN USE

Would you mind passing the pepper.

Could I ask you to close the door.

Can I trouble you for some coffee.

NOTE: We do not use question marks with these courteous expressions because they are not interrogatives, but polite requests.
June 22, 2017
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Jerry Smith

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Hi! I'm Jerry, from Stockton, California, USA, now living in the Philippines. ► I've been working with professional adults and business professionals for a long time. ► We can work together to improve your fluency, pronunciation, grammar, practical vocabulary, and confidence through focused conversations and plenty of feedback. ► I've also developed lessons to help you be more successful in the IELTS Speaking Test. ► For personalized English conversation classes or to help you prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test, schedule a free trial lesson with me and we can talk about your goals and how we can work together to achieve them.
Flag
English
globe
United States
time
New!
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Tagalog
A2
Hi! I'm Jerry, from Stockton, California, USA, now living in the Philippines. ► I've been working with professional adults and business professionals for a long time. ► We can work together to improve your fluency, pronunciation, grammar, practical vocabulary, and confidence through focused conversations and plenty of feedback. ► I've also developed lessons to help you be more successful in the IELTS Speaking Test. ► For personalized English conversation classes or to help you prepare for the IELTS Speaking Test, schedule a free trial lesson with me and we can talk about your goals and how we can work together to achieve them.
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