How To Speak Polite And Diplomatic English? 10 English Phrases That Sound Rude!

English is not your native English, it could use some English phrases and expressions in your daily conversation that may sound rude in English. As a beginner in English you may not notice them, but they could offend someone. In this English Speaking Lesson with Hridhaan, learn about 10 English expressions used in daily conversation that sound rude and how you could replace them with more polite and diplomatic phrases.

Complete Lesson Transcript: –

Hi everyone, my name is Hridhaan, I welcome you today on this very interesting lesson on Let’s Talk. In today’s lesson we are going to talk about certain ways in which you can tailor the way you speak in English, you can change the way you speak in English and sound more polite and diplomatic so that you can get, you can communicate the message and also get your work done. So what are we waiting for, let’s stop thinking and start working… The first sentence that we have on the board is, “that’s a bad idea”. Now if you say the sentence straight ‘that’s a bad idea’, it sounds a little rude, because it is abrupt and it is quite straightforward. Now in today’s class we are not talking about straight forward, it is a better idea we are not debating on that, we are talking about how to be polite, now how can we say this sentence that’s a bad idea in a polite language, well let’s have a look at it, instead of directly saying that’s a bad idea, it is a good idea to tell the person that I am not saying that it is a bad idea, I’m just saying that you can think about it in a better way, so that you can come up with a better idea basically. So saying directly ‘that’s a bad idea’ would not be right, and saying I think it can be said in a better off way is something that you can go ahead with. And now let’s have a look at the second one in the list of impolite phrases, “come here”. Come here is more like an imperative in English language, ‘imperative’ means it’s like an order, if I say come here to my friend it sounds quite rude, for example, “come here Rahul”, it’s quite rude how can we say this politely and most importantly how can we make a better sense out of this phrase? I have added two magical words to the rephrased version of this phrase. I have added ‘could’ and I have added ‘please’. ‘Could’ and ‘please’. Does do incredible magic in the way you speak English ‘could’ is basically used for requests in English and ‘please’ is a very, very polite word in English that we should use all the time whenever we want to sound sweet, polite and most importantly respectful, so ‘come here’ can as well change to ‘could you be here please?’. The next one in the list of impolite phrases is, “I hate this colour” hate is a very, very strong word in English language and we should try to do away with this word as much as possible. There are a lot of other alternatives that you can use in place of this word and we can say this like this, ‘I am not sure about this colour’… now the moment you say, ‘I am not sure’ you’re communicating to the person that simply you do not like this colour. The moment you say this the person easily understands that you basically are trying to politely disagree and thus, it is a better idea to not use the word ‘I hate’ but use ‘I am not sure’ in replacement of that’ I’m not sure about this colour’. You can also say ‘I dislike this colour’ but again ‘dislike’ turns a little negative and straight forward, so it is always a good idea to say, ‘I’m not sure about this colour’. The next one is, “leave me alone”. ‘Leave me alone’ is more like again an imperative like ‘come here’ how can we say this politely? Using this… ‘Leave me alone’ can as well be said in a very polite way, “I would like to be with myself”. ‘Would’, ‘could’ these are words that people generally use and we must always use whenever we want to communicate a polite message, because they all come in the family of polite words and thus whenever you want to say, ‘leave me alone’, it’s a better idea that you use, ‘would’ and communicate, “I would like to be with myself for some time please”. So if you are let’s say, not happy with something and you want to be just with yourself, it’s a good idea to use this phrase, the next one in the list of how to be polite is, “this is bad”. Imagine, you go to a store and you’re talking to the shop assistant, the executive in the shop and you say, “No, this is bad, this t-shirt is not good, show me a different one…” It is a very rude language. People do not realize it and that is why they translate these messages when they communicate, the same messages, same intonation when they speak at the workplace as well and so it is a good idea do not speak like that, the better thing is, ‘this is bad’, ‘this is bad’… “this can be better” or “this could have been better”, ‘could have been better…’ So instead of saying directly ‘this is bad’, it’s a good idea to say ‘this can be better’ or ‘this could have been better’. “No”, immediately saying ‘no’, for example I say, ‘would you like to have some water?’ and I say, ‘no.’ how can we correct and rectify this phrase? By just saying, ‘thank you’ again is one very interesting and sweet phrase that you can add in your vocabulary to make it sound polite and very, very sweet. So instead of saying ‘no’ for example, I don’t want to do this, ‘would you like to have some water?’ The person says, ‘no’, instead of saying that, you can say “no, thank you.” You’re basically saying that, I am fine without it thank you very much. The next one in the list is, “call me”, same imperative. You’re just, you’re speaking as if you’re ordering something. The moment you say, “please contact me” everything changes. Now let’s look at ‘contact me’ as well, if you say ‘contact me’ again very rude. The moment you say, ‘please contact me’ the language becomes really professional, sweet and polite. So do use that. “You are not confident”, imagine you’re giving feedback, you’re a teacher or let’s say you’re a parent who’s giving feedback to your child, would you say, “you’re not confident”, the very intonation and the very sense of the word ‘not’ is not positive, it’s negative. How can we say the sentence in a positive manner but still convey the same meaning? Using this… ‘You are not confident’ can as well be said as, “you can try to be more confident”, one more time, ‘you can try to be more confident’, do you know what is the magic? The magic is do not use ‘not’ in your sentence ever, just say the same message in a positive way, as if you’re giving a constructive sort, form or feedback to the person that you’re trying to communicate to. So remove ‘not’ and add a positive constructive feedback to your message. Next one, “can I take your pen?” You’re asking somebody, ‘can I take your pen?’ What is wrong in that everybody asks us…? But the very connotation and meaning of the word ‘can’ is capability. Imagine if the pen is here and it is somebody else’s pen and I say, “can I take the pen” it is my capability, ability I can definitely do that, I can do that, I have a hand and I can do the motion and take the pen, so what is wrong in that? It is not a request, it is an ability, it is my ability and of course I can do that because I’ve got a hand and I can move it, so instead of saying this, you could say, “could I take your pen?” ‘Could I take your pen’ and again ‘take’ is a word that can as well be replaced by another word and that is ‘borrow’. ‘Take’, has the sense that you’re taking it forever, but you’re not doing that, ‘borrow’ is something that you’re taking for a short period of time. So you can say ‘borrow’. “Could I borrow your pen?” The second one in the list is, “tell me when you are free”, what is wrong with, tell me when you’re free? It is again quite similar to ‘call me’, ‘tell me when you’re free’, imperative, order… how can we correct that? “Please do let me know as you are available”, one more time, ‘please do let me know as you are available’. Look at the way I have changed, ‘tell me’, ‘tell me’ has been replaced with ‘please do let me know’, ‘when you are free’ has been changed with ‘as you get the time’ or ‘as you are available’. So please try using it in the same sense. And the last one in the list is, “I want water” imagine you come to your own home and you say, “I want water” and if you speak in English to your sibling or to your parents, what is wrong with, ‘I want water’, it is again quite more like an order, ‘I want water’, how can this be corrected? We can say, “can I have some water?” If you are at your home, this is polite, but if you are at somebody else’s home you can say, “could I have some water?” one more time, please repeat after me, “could I have some water?” and if you want to add ‘please’ to it, you can in a very formal setting. So there are certain words again that I’d like to highlight, ‘would’, ‘could’, ‘thank you’, ‘please’… these words add a lot of value when you speak in English, when you try to be polite and sweet and at the same time diplomatic. So whenever you’re speaking in the future about any of this, about any of the ideas that we have spoken about today, please use the ones in black towards your right hand side. Have a great day ahead, thank you for watching my video and if you liked it, please to subscribe and do let me know in the comments what lessons you would like to study next. Thank you very much and have a great day ahead.

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