When you are just starting to learn
English, your main goal is to be understood. It is also
that you do not sound rude or unprofessional.
There are many words and phrases
in English that you can use to be nice and polite. You probably already
know the most common polite words and phrases in English: please, thank you, excuseme, and you'rewelcome.
The English language is full of polite words and phrases. When you
begin speaking English, most people will realize that any impoliteness
by you is not intentional. But it is important to learn correct English
customs, so you can make the best possible impression when you meet new
You do not want to sound rude in formal situations like job
interviews or meetings with clients and coworkers. It is also important
to be polite when requesting information or asking for help.
In this lesson, you will learn ways to be polite in English. These tips
will help you avoid sounding rude when making requests or asking for
Some of these tips might surprise you or seem strange, but this lesson
is important. Knowing how to be
polite in English will help you in many ways!
Being polite in English may help you:
make a good impression when you meet someone new
create a positive reputation
be more successful in conversations
avoid offending others
build positive relationships more easily
get information that you need
Please, thank you, excuse
me, and you're welcome in English
Please, ThankYou, ExcuseMe, and You're Welcome are
four of the most
common polite expressions in English. You can use these phrases
in formal and informal situations.
= Used in polite requests or questions
close the door.
Would you please
Can you close the door, please?
Close the door, please.
You" = A polite expression used to acknowledge a gift, service, or
compliment; it is also used when accepting or refusing an offer
No, thank you.
for the gift.
for helping me!
There are several ways to say thank you in English. Depending on the
situation, you can
use these expressions:
Thanks a lot!
Thank you very much.
That's very kind of you.
Thanks. I appreciate your help.
Thank you for your time.
That's very kind of you.
3. "Excuse me" = a polite phrase
used in many situations: to get someone's attention, to ask someone to
move out of the way, to interrupt
Excuse me is
a phrase that is
used in many situations. It is very rude to tell someone to, "Get out
of the way." Instead, say, "Excuse me" as a polite way to ask someone
to move out of the way, so you can walk by.
If you want to get someone's attention, you can say, "Excuse me." In a
classroom, you can raise your hand and say, "Excuse me" to get your
teacher's attention. This is also a polite way to interrupt or disagree
with a speaker.
but I do not
can you repeat
what you just said?
I have a
I do not agree
with your statement.
4. "You are welcome / You're
welcome" = a polite response to "thanks"
do something nice and the other person says, "Thanks", you can respond
with, "You're welcome."
requests in English
& Replacing commands with questions
People do not like to be told what to do. When we want to tell someone
to do something, we can use commands. Commands are appropriate in
certain situations, but to avoid sounding rude, you can replace commands
with polite questions.
say, "Give me a cup of tea." Do say, "May I have
a cup of tea?"
Don't say, "Open the
window." Do say, "Can you
please open the
English, when we ask for
something or what someone to do something, we often use modal
verbs like could,
should, can, and
to sound more polite. You can also
include the word "please".
pass the salt?
Do you think you could
finish the assignment today?
you mind handing me
I would appreciate it if you could
turn the music down.
I ask you a question?
tell me where the bathroom is
you please help me
with these bags?
questions to give
advice or make recommendations in English
In formal conversations, you can use negative
questions to politely give advice, express your opinion,
recommendations. A negative question
changes strong language into soft language and sounds more polite. Here
are some examples of negative questions.
say, "You need to fix the spelling in this document." Do say, "Don't you
document would be more professional if all of the spelling was correct?"
Don't say, "You
should spend more
time practicing your English." Do say, "Shouldn't
you spend more
time practicing your English?"
Don't say, "This
would be better
if you typed it." Do say, "Would this
if it was typed?"
It is okay to disagree with someone. If you have to disagree with
someone, you should do it politely.
Show respect for their opinions and thoughts. These phrases will help
you disagree and express your opinion without sounding rude.
I understand what you are saying, but...
I see what you mean, but...
I respect your opinion, but...
I see your point, but I disagree because...
You might be right, but...
Turning down an
It is not always easy to say no
to people. Thankfully, there are polite
phrases you can use to avoid hurting someone's feelings when you have
to say no
to an invitation.
I would love to join you, but...
I would love to, but...
Thanks for asking me, but I'm afraid I can't this time.
Unfortunately, I can't because...
Unfortunately, I can't go. Maybe next time!
That sounds great, but...
That sounds fun, but...
Thank you so much for asking me, but...
understanding - Asking
to repeat information in English
When you don't understand what someone says, you can ask them to repeat
what they said. Sometimes people speak too quickly or quietly, or there
is too much noise. However, it is more polite to blame yourself than
the speaker. Here are some ways to say you did not understand:
Could you please repeat that?
I'm sorry. I didn't quite catch that.
Could you say that again, please?
Would you mind repeating what you said?
I'm sorry. I didn't hear you.
I'm sorry. I didn't understand that.
I'm sorry. I wasn't listening. Could you please repeat that?