Kenneth Beare is an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and course developer with over three decades of teaching experience. In the United Kingdom, the word is not frowned upon. Ask Question … So, even if your English is at a beginner’s level, using these simple words can help you sound more polite. Depending on the intonation of the voice, they are used to verify information that we think is correct or to ask for more information. Especially since English doesn’t have a formal “you” form like many other languages. Sign up to join this community. Expression for asking personal question politely [Excuse my asking, but.. Tom helped in the garden.Who helped in the garden? Direct questions can seem abrupt or even impolite at times, especially when asked by a stranger. The questions ‘do you mind’ or ‘do you care’ usually cause a lot of confusion for many English as a Second language users. This may sound awkward but it is true. Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki. Subject + Helping verb + Objects + , + Opposite Helping Verb + Subject? Being polite is an important part of learning how to speak English naturally and there are many ways of making our questions more polite. Can you spell your name? I promise to keep it brief. And they are also … Indirect questions request the same information as direct questions, but they are considered more formal. Notice that indirect questions begin with a phrase ("I wonder," "Do you think," "Would you mind," etc.). Asking a Quick Question . One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. I use this expression all the time.Can you give me a hand for a minute? All we do is replace CAN with COULD. Requests - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary It is usually used with "I," and sometimes "we.". So you might wonder, how should you ask your boss for a day off? It only takes a minute to sign up. . Say something like “Oh”, “Ah”, “Um”, or “Er” to give you a second or two to formulate an answer. My schedule is wide open all day Thursday and Friday if you have availability then. Your Relationship with the Recipient . We can understand question tags as having two parts separated by a comma. Don’t make the mistake of saying “I want” when you ask people for things in English. Asking to do things – asking for permission. In the United States, "can" is considered to be incorrect for written English in particular because, in the past, it was not a word used when asking for something. Please should not appear at the beginning of the question: "May" is used as a formal means to ask for permission and is very polite. Are we done? Instead of saying to someone: Can you spell your name? Have you ever wondered how you can politely ask a question in English? If you don't want to sound rude when speaking English, then you need to know how to make a request in a polite way.Requests in English are usually made in the form of questions Here are examples of being too direct: “I want help.” “Pass me the salt.” “Can you carry my bag?” These questions are all correct English but they are too direct. Cambridge University publishes English teaching materials with the phrase "Can you lend me," "Can I have," etc. Excuse me, do you know _____ the next show begins. Can I use your phone? But in order to make questions more polite, change “can” to “could” and you sound like a “native”! Usually it’s used when what you’re asking doesn’t require a huge amount of effort from the person that you’re asking for help. To form an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by question words for information questions, and "if" or "whether" for yes/no questions. How much does that book cost? Where’s the bathroom? How to Politely Ask Someone to Repeat Something in english; Would you mind repeating that? Sign up to join this community. - English Only forum had politely done - English Only forum He was not speaking politely so I have just hung up the phone on him - English Only forum how can I express my meaning politely and correctly? For example: In informal situations, one could use the word "can" in a direct sentence. Use the three part formula to change them into indirect questions When you finish, check that the final part … Make sure that you’re giving the other person the chance to say no. Excuse me, _____ you help me with my homework? Asking for directions is the first thing we do when we arrive to a different country, or even when we are just trying to find a place. I wonder ______ you like chocolate or not. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered Politely ask someone not to do something. He or she asks you a question. Start studying How to Politely Ask a Favor in English. Question tags turn statements into questions. Instead of: Finish the presentation. Using indirect question forms is especially polite. When we want to be more polite we often use indirect question forms. (Also see my corollary post How to answer questions politely and correctly.) Instead, here are some better, more polite ways to ask for things. To learn more about how to ask polite questions, and use each form correctly, check out the overview below. This makes you look rude, and they will be less likely to want to help you! Direct questions are either yes/no questions such as "Are you married?" There are even times when you might need to stop a speaker to ask a question that is not related to the topic of conversation. So you might wonder, how should you ask your boss for a day off? One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. It only takes a minute to sign up. Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. Do you mind repeating that? English Grammar - How to ask questions - Duration: 19:03. I would love to ask you a few questions about how you financed your first film. Remember, complete silence makes the other person feel uneasy! How should you ask a stranger where the nearest bus stop is? direct, indirect, or question tag). Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online? Your email address will not be published. Do well to check it out and share. Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. Have you ever wondered how you can politely ask a question in English? … For example, if you come up to someone and ask: There is nothing wrong with asking questions in this manner, but to sound more polite, it's very common to add "excuse me" or "pardon me" at the beginning of a question. We must avoid being too direct. Where are you? Luckily, Canadians are … Continue reading "10 Tips on How to Ask for Directions in English" These are not polite requests. Privacy Policy. Not to worry, I have addressed this in a post titled, How to Answer Tag Questions. Pardon? They are examples of formal English. Asking Questions in Different Ways. Even if you need something done right away, making it a question will make the other person more willing to help. The way we ask for directions may affect the answer we get. Here are some more examples in different contexts with different tenses.Can you give me a hand with these … The first part uses the subject followed by a helping verb as used in direct questions ("Has she"). - English Only forum How to ask someone politely to send me something a.s.a.p. In both countries, questions with "can" are made more polite by using "could:". There are several reasons your recipient might delay in replying your email or neglect your email totally, forcing you to deliberately ask for a reply in a formal email. Asking for information can be as simple as asking for the time, or as complicated as asking for details about a complicated process.In both cases, it's important to use the appropriate form for the situation. Next, provide a missing word to fill in the gap to complete the question. Direct questions ask for information immediately without including extra language such as "I wonder" or "Can you tell me.". They are in fact quite rude. There are three types of questions in English: direct, indirect, and question tags. If the voice goes up at the end of the sentence, the person is asking for more information. - English Only forum How to ask someone politely to send me something a.s.a.p. They won't attend this class, _____ they? Reasons To Politely Ask for a Reply in a Formal Email. Knowing how to ask for them can make our life so much easier! Indirect questions can start with introductory phrases such as these: Can you tell me . Introductory Phrase + Question Word/"If"/"Whether" + Subject + Helping Verb + Main Verb? I’m a longtime admirer of your work and have the greatest respect for your filmmaking expertise. This is another really common way to ask for help in English. - English Only forum had politely done - English Only forum He was not speaking politely so I have just hung up the phone on him - English Only forum how can I express my meaning politely and correctly? For example, when asking for information from a friend, use a more informal or colloquial form. Are you working this weekend? Write down five open and five closed direct questions. Could You Possibly/Is There Any Way You Could Get our special offer before it runs out! Who - asking for a person and animal: subject: no do, does, did. There are many different ways of making polite requests in English. Say: Can you finish the presentation? Would you be game for a 15–20 minute phone call next week? If you haven’t expected this, you can “play for time” – say something to give you time to think. etc.] Since we are asking someone for help, it is important to be polite. However, we use indirect questions if we want to ask a more personal or formal question. etc.] Indirect questions always begin with an introductory phrase and unlike direct questions, they do not invert the subject. Using an indirect question is one great way to do this. Direct and indirect questions are used to ask for information you do not know, while question tags are generally used to clarify or confirm the information you think you know. NOTE: If you are asking a "yes-no" question, use "if" to connect the introductory phrase with the actual question statement. or information questions such as "Where do you live?" Paul Randal August 11, 2014 This post is a much-expanded version of the editorial in my last bi-weekly SQLskills Insider newsletter, including a bunch of the feedback I got. To learn more about how to ask polite questions, and use each form … How to Ask Politely. They greet their teacher.Who do they greet? Indirect questions are more polite than direct questions. How to ask questions politely using could, would and may. Do you know how long Mark _____ been working for that company? The difference between practice and practise, “a little” and “a few ” to describe quantity, Difference between “finally”, “at last”, “lastly” and “in the end”, Maths symbols and operations – English vocabulary, BACK as a noun, verb, adjective and adverb, IELTS complete guide (WITH EXAMPLE QUESTIONS). Connect the two phrases with the question word or 'if' in the case the question is a yes/no question. Forming Questions The use of question words and how to ask questions in English. . Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. How to ask questions politely and correctly. People will be offended because they will … Asking questions in English – indirect questions Indirect questions are also used to try to get information. Ask a question or clarify something; Join a conversation or express your opinion on the topic; The key is knowing how to interrupt someone politely. Anybody can ask a question Anybody can answer The best answers are voted up and rise to the top Home ; Questions ; Tags ; Users ; Unanswered ; How do I ask a question politely? “Can you show me,” “Can I have,” “Can I sit”, etc. Sorry. They ask the same as direct questions but are considered more formal. Jane opened the door.Who opened the door? The second part uses the opposite form of the helping verb followed by the same subject ("Hasn't she"). Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. No matter what the situation, these short phrases allow for brief questions during a conversation. Each of these three question types can be used politely, but certain indirect forms are more formal and polite than other types of questions. If the voice drops, someone is confirming information that is known. ______ me, what time does the train leave? Otherwise, use a question word "where, when, why, or how" to connect the two phrases. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Consider the following important points carefully. What time is it? Introductory phrase + question word (or "if") + positive sentence. Saying "May I have" instead of "Can I have" is preferred in the U.S. English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. How to ask questions politely using could, would and may How to ask questions politely using could, would and may? Instead of telling people to help you with tasks, you can turn your statement into a question. To help you do that, I want to share essential tips and common phrases we use in English. In the video below, you can also check out ways to reply when people ask you what you want. It’s also possible to use ‘can’ in informal situations. Especially since English doesn’t have a formal “you” form like many other languages. What you can do is, simply say: Simply say: Could you please spell your name? In this spoken English lesson, you will learn several methods to make polite requests and ask questions. First, identify which type of question is asked (i.e. How should you ask a stranger where the nearest bus stop is? "Would" can also be used to make questions more polite: Another way of making direct questions more polite is to add "please" at the end of the question. Which would be a direct way of asking a question and can be interpreted as being rude or arrogant. Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam. A request is when we ask someone for something. Where is the bus stop? Excuse me? When you ask somebody like that in a direct manner. Who - asking for a person and animal: object: do, does, did. You ask for something, then the person you have asked needs more information. Direct questions are fine when you are talking to your friends or family. Saying "Give me that" (imperative) instead of "Could you give me that" (indirect) puts you at risk of sounding rude. JamesESL English Lessons ... Business English - Complaining & Disagreeing Politely and Effectively - Duration: 7:22. When using an indirect question, use an introductory phrase followed by the question itself in positive sentence structure. Could you lend me a hand?It’s a casual, relaxed way to ask for help. One form to avoid when asking for things is the imperative form. Expression for asking personal question politely [Excuse my asking, but.. Direct questions place the helping verb before the subject of the question: (Question word) + Helping Verb + Subject + Verb + Objects ? Basic Conversations for English Language Learners, English as a Second Language (ESL) Expert, Key Words That Make Direct Questions More Polite, Asking Indirect Questions to Be Especially Polite, Workplace Communication Skills for ESL Learners, Rhetorical Questions for English Learners, Ask Questions in English Class to Help You Learn, Phrases for Performing Well in Business Meetings, ESL: How to Ask for, Grant and Refuse Permission, Giving and Requesting Personal Information, Check Your Knowledge: Basic English Questions, Check Your Knowledge: Introductions and Greetings, Check Your Knowledge: "How Much" and "How Many", Check Your Knowledge: Eating at a Restaurant, Check Your Knowledge: Going to the Doctor, M.A., Music Performance, Cologne University of Music, B.A., Vocal Performance, Eastman School of Music. When you ask a direct question, you ask directly, or simply, for exactly what you need. Using an indirect question is one great way to do this. Daily grammar lesson with Elo Kasia. Sometimes it is necessary to pause a conversation to ask a clarifying question. Using questionsmakes you sound nicer and more considerate (thoughtful and nice).