Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Hey. Excuse me. Sorry.

  • Or sometimes you can say all three together.

  • Hey, excuse me, sorry. Yes sir.

  • Hello everybody.

  • So, making requests, and asking questions, in English isn't always as simple as saying directly what you want.

  • I want the bill. I want a milkshake. Give me the menu.

  • Doing this can make you seem a bit rude and impolite.

  • So, today we're looking at ways to make your requests, and your questions, in English a bit more polite.

  • But before I continue, please remember to hit the Like button and to subscribe to the channel.

  • So, before we look at ways of making the actual question more polite, you need to say something to begin the conversation appropriately.

  • To do this you could say, hey, excuse me, or sorry.

  • Hey. Excuse me. Sorry.

  • Or sometimes you can say all three together.

  • Hey, excuse me, sorry. Yes, Sir.

  • So, of course all questions in English have modal verbs.

  • But you still might want to consider which modal verbs you want to use.

  • Less formal, but still polite, modal verbs are can and could.

  • Can I have the salad? Yes. Could I have the salad? Sure.

  • While more formal modal verbs are would and may.

  • Would it be possible to have the salad?

  • Sure, no problem. May I have the salad? Of course.

  • Okay, so one way of asking a question politely is to use the following structure.

  • Use a negative question, but with a positive question tag.

  • For example, you could say, you wouldn't mind bringing me another napkin, would you?

  • Sure.

  • You couldn't put some extra sauce on here could you?

  • Of course.

  • To avoid directly blaming someone for a situation, we sometimes use the passive in questions.

  • So, instead of saying have you made my drink yet, you could say.

  • Sorry, has my drink been made yet?

  • And, finally, sometimes in English we use past or continuous forms to make the question even more softer and polite.

  • Often they're technically not part of the question, but just used to introduce it.

  • I was wondering if you could turn the music down a little?

  • Sure.

  • Or sometimes they do form part of the question itself.

  • And that's all. Did you want the menus back? Yes please.

  • And of course, you could always end your request, or question, with a please or thank you, to make sure you're being extra polite.

  • May I have the salad please? Yes.

  • You couldn't put some extra sauce on here could you?

  • Sure, no problem. Thanks.

  • Now, let's recap on how to make your questions, or requests, a bit more polite in English.

  • Okay, so there you go.

  • How to make your requests, and questions, a little bit more polite in English.

  • And please don't forget to comment below with your own examples.

  • Of course, today, we've looked at examples from a restaurant context.

  • But you can choose to use whatever setting you like.

  • And while you're doing that, please don't forget to Like the videos, and subscribe to the channel.

  • Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you next time for more language fun.

Hey. Excuse me. Sorry.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Click the word to look it up Click the word to find further inforamtion about it

A2 UK polite modal salad question excuse couldn put

How to politely ask questions in English | Learn English with Cambridge

  • 22 2
    Elise Chuang posted on 2021/10/28
Video vocabulary