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STOP ✋ SAYING THIS! Don’t Sound RUDE In English.

As a beginner in English, you might use certain English phrases unknowingly, that might sound rude in English. Although you don’t mean to be rude while speaking, there are certain English phrases that offend and make you look like a rude person. In this English speaking Practice lesson with Michelle learn some English softeners that would help you turn Rude English Phrases to more Polite English Phrases. 

Complete Lesson Transcript : –

Thank you so much for clicking on this lesson, I’m pleased to have you with me, thank you! These are softeners what I just use right now words like thank you, please, possibly. All these are softeners which native speakers often use to sound very polite. If you want to sound polite while making a request then stay with me I’m Michele and I am going to help you sound much more soft and polite. Okay, so where do you think we should best start using softeners? Which place is it where you would like to use softeners the most? As for me when I’m making a request I would definitely use a softener I don’t want to sound rude when I’m making a request because I know then the answer would be ‘no’. So if I’m making a request I want to sound sweet, polite and soft. Okay so the first section that we are going to look at, this section talks about making a request very politely using softeners. Okay so the first one that we have, “can I take this chair, please?” Okay although we do have a softener here okay, ‘please’ is a softener but you know the formation of the sentence is just not correct, it sounds very rude when you tell someone, “can I take this chair?” and ‘can’ is actually wrong, you might want to say, “may I take this chair?” Now even if you say “may I take this chair, please? It’s still not very polite. The best way to sound most polite is to say, “could I take this chair, please?” Okay, now if you’re meeting someone for the first time you, “Could say could I take this chair, please?” to a friend or to a colleague but if you’re talking to a stranger you really want to sound very polite otherwise you’ll hear a ‘no’, okay? So what will you say then? You could say, “Could I borrow this chair, please?” instead of saying take, because take is a very harsh word, slightly harsh, you pick up something and you keep it somewhere. So Borrow means that you’ll take it and then you’ll give it back. Alright so, “could I borrow this chair, please?” Now there’s more that we can add to the sentence to sound even more polite and flatter someone and that is, “could I possibly borrow this chair?” So you can add here so you could say, “Could I possibly borrow this chair, please?” Ah? Do we use ‘please’ with ‘possibly’? No! I think that’s too much pleasing and too much flattering. So be careful when you use possibly, you do not use please, okay? And when you use please, you do not use possibly. So you could use any of these sentence either you could say, “could I borrow this chair, please?” or you could say, “could I possibly borrow this chair?” these are both questions and ways to make requests very politely. Okay so the next one that we have is, “may I turn the music down?” Okay so now we can definitely make this much more polite, if you want someone to make, uh, turn the music down for you, instead of using ‘may’, you could say, “do you mind…?” okay, you could say, “do you mind turning the music down?” because we are talking in the present, tense about a situation that is going on so, “do you mind turning the music down?” and obviously you can add another softener to it which is ‘please’, okay? So you could say, “do you mind turning the music down, please?” and if you want to go a degree higher in your politeness then you might want to use modal okay which is, “would you mind turning the music down, please?” Yes that’s also correct or you might say, “Would you mind if I turn the music down?” anyways you can use it. You could say, “would you mind if I turn the music down?” or “would you mind if I turn the, would you mind me turning the music down, please?” alright so either you could say, “do you mind…?” or “would you mind…?” So apparently these phrases have no such meaning right because, ‘mind’, ‘would you mind’ it really doesn’t mean something, except that it’s just a softener to help you sound much more polite. Okay, now with this we look at the next one, “could I ask you to move your chair, please?” Okay, so now you tell me if someone asks you to move your chair from here to here, do you think they’re asking you to do something very big, is it a very big task? Would it require too much effort for you to just lift up your chair and move here? I don’t think so… It’s a very small task, isn’t it? It’s a very little thing that someone is expecting you to do. If you are asking someone to do something very little for you then you can add a softener to make it sound very polite and that is, could I, “could I just ask you to move your chair, please?” this means that you’re asking someone to do a very little thing for you and if you’re possibly let’s say in a library and there’s a book on the table and you’re asking someone to pass the book to you, you could say, could I ask you, “could I just ask you to pass the book to me?” So this way you’re asking them to do something very little for you and you’re sounding very polite and surely your request wouldn’t be turned down. Okay, so the next one that we have is, “roll up your sleeve”, okay… are you asking or are you demanding? This is no way to request someone. Here you’re ordering someone. So who would ask you to, ‘roll up your sleeve?’ I remember that whenever I go for a blood test the nurse always tells me roll up your sleeve and that’s really rude, I feel so pissed. So instead of saying it out like this which is very rude especially to your patient alright or customer you might want to say, “could you roll up your sleeve, please?” Okay, “could you roll up your sleeve, please?” or you could add this softener as well because you’re asking someone to do a very little thing for you so you could say, “could you just roll up your sleeve?” Okay, now there’s more that we can add to this okay, because when a possibly a nurse is asking a patient to roll up their sleeve or when you’re going to a blood donation camp and someone is asking you to roll up your sleeve they’re asking you something to do it for themselves, isn’t it? Like so the nurse wants you to roll up your sleeve so that she can insert the syringe. So she’s asking you to do it for herself, in that case she could say, “could you just roll up your sleeve for me?” now ‘for me’ is another software to ask someone to do something for you, “could you roll up your sleeve for me?” Okay, right and what if you have to ask your customer, let’s say you’re at work and you have to ask your client or your customer to do something for you, you can’t be rude to the client, you can’t afford that for sure. You want to sound very polite and if you want them to do something for you, you’ll again use the same formation you could say, “Could you sign your name there for me?” okay ‘for me’ means specifically for you. So let’s say that the person is signing some documents, okay or they’re reading some documents and you expect them to sign somewhere so you could say, “could you sign your name there for me?” okay because it’s a request for you. “Could you sign your name there for me?” Alright, now we are looking at the last way to make requests to an absolute stranger, okay? So let’s say that you are at the reception of this club where there are a lot of members or clients who are walking in, people who are, who want to be in the club and you’re at the reception and a person walks in and you want to ask them if they have the membership or not and how will you know that? Through the membership card, right? So you would say, “Do you have a member’s card?” okay that’s fine, it’s not wrong but you can be more polite when saying that, right? So when you want to sound very polite to an absolute stranger okay, this is specifically for a case of inquiry, you’re inquiring something, so you’re asking a question, “do you have a member’s card at all?” okay? That’s one way to ask a question specifically for inquiry to a direct stranger. It has no meaning, okay? Don’t go into the meaning, it’s just a softener the native speakers often use. So, “do you have a member’s card at all?” So do not get confused when someone tells you this, “do you have a member’s card at all?” just take it as it is they’re asking you in a very polite way. Okay so now with this we come to an end of how to make polite requests. That’s not all, we don’t only make requests, we also deny requests, don’t we? Do you deny requests very often? So do i. But obviously it’s much better to deny a request politely. The best way to do that is to apologize, okay? Even before you say no, you might want to apologize. So let’s look at the first sentence that we have, “I’m a bit busy at the moment.” So if someone comes and asks you, “hey do you have a moment, can we speak?” and you’re very busy so you can talk to them so you could say, “do you mind, I’m a bit busy at the moment, can we catch up in the afternoon?” Okay so you can follow this with, “do you mind…” okay or “if you don’t mind…” that would also be correct. So you could say, “if you don’t mind, I’m a bit busy at the moment, can we catch up in the afternoon?” Okay, so the next one we have is, “we are using that chair.” so if someone asks you okay you’re, you’re maybe in a meeting or somewhere and you need a place to sit and you find this chair which is vacant, so you want to go and grab that chair and quickly sit but, there’s someone already on that table, right? So you can’t just grab the chair and you want to ask them and you ask them, “Could I take that chair, please?” But, if that person says, “we are using that chair”, that’s so rude, isn’t it? It’s a much better way to say, “I’m sorry, we are using that chair” so apologizing, before denying. There’s another way to apologize, before denying a request and that’s by saying, “I’m afraid…” okay? Which means that you cannot do something for someone because of whatever reason. So “we need those books”, you could say, “I’m afraid, we need those books, that’s why we cannot give it to you” that’s understood, so “I’m afraid…” So these are some ways to deny a request by sounding much more polite you could say, “If you don’t mind, I’m a bit busy at the moment” or you could say, “I’m sorry, we are using that chair”, “I’m afraid, we need those books”. Now the next thing that we are looking at where we need to use softeners very honestly, very seriously and that is, when we are disagreeing, okay? It’s very easy to hurt someone’s feelings when you’re disagreeing, so you surely want to sound polite, “I disagree with you there” okay, now here as well you can use these softwares, “I’m sorry…”, “I’m afraid…” they can be used with “I disagree with you there” because you’re apologizing before disagreeing. Another softener that you can use with disagreeing is, “I have to say…”, “I have to say, I disagree with you there.” Now if you only say, “I disagree with you there” that’s very rude but if you add, “I have to say, I disagree with you there” that adds politeness to it. Okay so the next one we have is, “I agree with you there…” oh? We were looking at disagree, isn’t it? How can we agree with someone while disagreeing? You can say, “I’m not sure, I agree with you there” instead of saying, “I have to say, I disagree” you could say, “I’m not sure, I agree with you there.” Okay, now we look at the next two here that’s the case, with something like this, that’s the case you could say, “I’m not convinced…” which means that you don’t agree, again it has the same meaning but it’s a softener. So you could say, “I’m not convinced, that’s the case.” Alright, “in my experience women are as good as men”, now I need to share story with you about this, one of my friends told me that you know women are not as good as men in computers, I told him, “in my experience women are as good as men” but that’s a bit rude, isn’t it? You can say, “I have to say, in my experience women are as good as men” or you could say that, “is that really true?” “In my experience women are as good as men” so you could say, “is that really true…? to sound more polite. Now the last one that we have is, “she’s a very experienced teacher but…” so here you agree with a part and you do not agree with the rest of it. She’s a very experienced teacher but, here you can say “I understand your point…” or “I take your point, she’s a very experienced teacher but, I don’t think she fits the job profile.” so “I take your point…” Right, with this we come to an end of today’s lesson where we have learned softeners while making requests, disagreeing and you know politely saying ‘no’. Thank you so much for having me I had a great time teaching you, bye-bye.

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